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Dana White on Conor McGregor Return: ‘He Could Probably Fight Tomorrow If He Wanted To'

Sherdog logo: MainLogo Sherdog 3/20/2023 (Tristen Critchfield)

Conor McGregoris expected to return to UFC competition for the first time since breaking his leg in July 2021, but exactly when that will happen remains unclear.

The Irish star coached opposite Michael Chandleron "The Ultimate Fighter 31," which will set the stage for their matchup - presumably sometime in 2023. According to UFC president Dana White, "TUF 31" was motivating for McGregor.

"He's ready to go. He could probably fight tomorrow if he wanted to," White said at the UFC 286 post-fight press conference. "Conor coming back and coaching ‘The Ultimate Fighter' was like a [big step] toward coming back. He was telling me Monday that it felt good to be there again – felt good to be in the gym with other guys, felt good to train, felt good to be in Vegas – all that stuff. I don't know if Conor's ready to come back and fight tomorrow, but ‘The Ultimate Fighter' was a big step in that direction and getting him back and getting him mentally and probably emotionally ready to start training and get back to [fighting]."

One of the biggest topics surrounding McGregor's return has been his re-entry into USADA's drug testing pool. In most cases, UFC fighters are required to be in the drug testing pool for six months - and submit two negative tests - before they are eligible to return to active competition. As of recently, it didn't appear that McGregor had returned to the drug testing pool, and the anti-doping organization didn't seem willing to make an exception for the former UFC two-division champion. Thus far, McGregor hasn't seemed too concerned about the process.

As for White, he isn't dealing with anything regarding McGregor's USADA eligibility.

"Um, have you ever heard of [UFC senior VP of athlete health and performance] Jeff Novitzky? Ask him these questions," White said. "I don't give a s-t about any of that stuff anymore. That's his problem. I don't get involved in the drug testing situation whatsoever. I know nothing about it, and I don't want to know nothing about it. I leave it to the expert. He's the expert in this thing, and you guys call him and interview him anytime about it."

Of course, if McGregor isn't granted a special exemption, that topic might be of more interest to White. For now, the UFC head can concern himself with other matters - like a venue for McGregor vs. Chandler. In an interview with the



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