Conor McGregor recently hinted that he might be on the verge of a return to the Octagon in December, but he’s now said that it looks unlikely due to circumstances beyond his control.
“They’re not going to let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen,” McGregor said in an audio note on X. “You’ve seen Chris Weidman (at UFC 292). Imagine what that injury is. I feel like I’m being kept from my livelihood, and I’ve been feeling this for years. I’m not going to air grievances. I’m going to buoy down and soldier on. I’m ready. I wanted an announcement for (UFC 296 on) Dec. 16. I’ve given everything. So, it’s not going to happen. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”
McGregor didn’t go into specifics, but it’s well known at this stage that USADA requires any UFC fighter re-entering their drug-testing program after an absence to under go six months of tests before being allowed to compete.
At one stage McGregor had looked set to get back in the program in time to be ready to compete before the end of the year, but the deadline came and went without the former double-champ having committed to it.
Now he’s appealing to the powers at be to bend the rules so he can return by the final pay-per-view of the year, but even he seems to be coming to the realization that it’ll most likely be 2024 before he can make his long-awaited comeback.
“I’m going to keep doing my thing. I’m in a great spot, and I’ll see yas all soon. F*cking early next year, hopefully. Please God, someone. Ari, Ari. My man. I’m ready, yeah? Dec. 16, I am ready. Nevada State Athletic Commission, Bob Bennett may have retired. Un-retire. Because when I’m around the game – ring Bob Bennett. Tell the commission what’s the story, because I’m being kept from my livelihood here. Turns out Bob’s retired and I’m like, ‘What the f*ck?’
“I’ve been out of this game the longest. I’m on top of this yacht at the minute, but I’ve been on the top of the game f*cking long.”
In a separate voice note, McGregor also explained why he hadn’t shown up for the TUF finals, which took place on the preliminary portion of Saturday night’s UFC 292 event in Boston.
“Last night, I actually logged off before the PPV began,” Conor McGregor said. “Was it the finale, where was the finale? I asked for a full card for all these contestants, because I vouch for all of them. Some great little fighters were on that, I think. We were all over ESPN… I was told that was going to happen. That didn’t happen. Maybe now it will happen, I imagine we’ll do something, I’m sure. It’s on tape.
“I knew the finale was on, I coulda been there. But that’s John [Kavanagh], that’s Brad [Katona]… I would have loved to be there, to be honest with ya, but I said to myself, ‘I can’t keep eating into my time, here.’ And just, like, ‘Yeah, let’s go here,’ and go places and socialize. I missed family, I missed weddings and everything on the comeup… I wouldn’t even come outside the door unless it had to do with fighting. That was me…
“A good friend, a dear friend of mine said to me, ‘There comes a point, you’ve got to get back to the shop. You can’t just be handing out flowers all the time, you gotta get back to the shop,” a barely lucid McGregor continued. “I’m at that spot now. I didn’t go to the fight because of this reason… I’m here having a decent camp and I’m getting my rounds in daily. And we’ll be building off of this, body-wise and work wise. It’s going tremendous…
“Then I’m watching the fights… and I’m like, ‘Fair play that you stayed put, you didn’t fly across the world and disrupt your training. So good champ-champ, well done champ-champ’…”