The troubled Conor McGregor continues to take his lumps as news breaks that the two-division champion missed his final deadline to enter the USADA testing pool.
As a result, McGregor cannot be eligible for any MMA contests in 2023. This means the heavily-hyped showdown between him and Michael Chandler, the backbone of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, is off the books.
According to MMA Uncensored, McGregor was given a final date of June 16 to submit to USADA testing. Had he complied, then McGregor could have fought Chandler at UFC 296. The event was the last pay-per-view card for 2023. McGregor’s return can happen in 2024 at the earliest, but we shouldn’t expect Chandler to be waiting for him.
The opportunity for Chandler to headline a pay-per-view fight against McGregor would have done big business. It is yet to be seen if the 37-year-old Chandler will opt to wait for McGregor. Chandler has been inactive since a November 2022 loss to Dustin Poirier and risks losing his #5 ranking due to inactivity.
Conor McGregor’s latest mishap will be costly
The bad news keeps rolling in for McGregor. As we previously reported, McGregor’s appearance during the NBA Finals left the Miami Heat’s mascot hospitalized to go along with a sexual assault accusation.
The Ultimate Fighter is likely to lose viewers unless some magic can happen to save McGregor vs. Chandler. Once again, the UFC has proven unable to evacuate from the blast radius when it comes to McGregor.
Now that Chandler is presumably free to fight, a great opponent is available for the fall. Arman Tsarukyan has been on a tear and is as deserving as anyone to face a top lightweight. He recently defeated Joaquim Silva by third-round knockout, and his style would mesh well with Chandler.
As for McGregor, we’re sure to hear more from him and the UFC in the coming weeks. It wouldn’t be a surprise that the UFC will now hope to get McGregor on UFC 300 in 2024.