Conor McGregor signals a pending return to the USADA pool

Conor McGregor, UFC 264
Conor McGregor official UFC 264 weigh-ins Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

While news broke last month that the injured Conor McGregor was out of the USADA athlete testing pool, it looks like the Irish star will soon be back in it.

On Wednesday, the former two-time UFC featherweight and lightweight champion took to social media to state that “I’m ready for testing in February,” adding that “I’ll complete my two tests according to USADA and we’re booking a fight.”

McGregor did not provide a time frame for the fight itself, nor did he give any indication of what opponent he has in mind. “The Notorious” was last seen suffering a TKO injury in the rubber match of his trilogy with Dustin Poirier after breaking his leg early in the fight.

Based on the rules of the UFC’s anti-doping policy, fighters returning from suspensions must pass six months of clean testing, leaving August 2023 as potentially the earliest possible date. While promotion has the power to override this clause, it hasn’t always gone smoothly historically. In Brock Lesnar’s case, disaster ensued when the UFC pulled out of the pre-UFC 200 window, only for Lesnar to later test positive for a banned substance, leading opponent Mark Hunt to sue the promotion.

Most recently, the UFC waived the six-month requirement before Miesha Tate’s return from retirement, no problem.

It also remained a question mark after Wednesday’s brief update that McGregor had withdrawn from the testing group itself. This is usually done when a fighter retires, but no such announcement has ever been made publicly by the UFC star and it seemed clear after his injury that he intended to return to competition.

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Instead, McGregor is busy recovering from surgery on the broken leg he suffered in the Poirier fight and rehabilitating the limb. While he’s also filming a role in an upcoming remake of the Patrick Swayze classic Road House, that commitment came recently.

UFC president Dana White previously confirmed McGregor’s absence from the testing panel, but neither side nor USADA itself has ever provided an explanation as to why the fighter was not tested.

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