Conor McGregor is finally coming back, and he’ll be fighting at 170 pounds.
The UFC confirmed the return of “The Notorious” over the weekend with a big announcement: McGregor would coach the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Michael Chandler. At the end of the season, they’d fight. Now we have more details on that scrap, care of MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
“It’ll begin airing here in the United States on ESPN television, so ESPN linear, and ESPN+ May 30th to August 15th,” Helwani reported on The Ringer MMA Show. “Then the plan is they will fight in the third quarter. Last I heart, it’s September.”
“We were talking about the weight, I’ve confirmed it’s 170,” he added. “I just wanted confirmation, for it to be 100%. So that’s an interesting little wrinkle, especially for Chandler who isn’t used to fighting at that weight.”
“It is a pretty big deal that they’re putting it on ESPN, the actual channel,” Helwani commented. “That’s pretty damn cool.”
McGregor’s weight has been the subject of speculation for months as “The Notorious” has been flaunting his outrageous muscle gains on social media. Few thought he’d be able to squeeze back into the 155 pound division, where he was champion from November 2016 to April 2018. And while it’s not officially announced, it does look like Conor will be a welterweight moving forward.
McGregor has competed at 170 three times before. Both of his fights against Nate Diaz were contested at 170 pounds, and so was his 2020 fight against Donald Cerrone. In all three fights both he and his opponents were still basically lightweight fighters. In this case, Michael Chandler is a puffed up lightweight while McGregor is a proper welterweight slab.
The Irish sports star hasn’t competed since suffering a bad leg break in his third fight against Dustin Poirier. That injury was so severe that McGregor was quietly removed from the USADA drug testing program so doctors could properly treat him. That’s raised more than a few eyebrows as he continues to grow and grow and grow before our eyes. But so long as he spends six months back in the USADA drug testing program before fighting Chandler, he won’t have technically broken any rules.
USADA regularly updates their public testing database, but no tests have been logged in 2023 for McGregor yet. In order to be ready to fight for September, he’ll have to re-enter the pool in March.
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