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Conor McGregor's Comeback: Dana White Talks USADA Status and the Road Ahead

Patience is not a virtue often associated with fighters and their fans. However, when it comes to the return of the notorious Conor McGregor, UFC CEO Dana White is preaching just that - patience.

After a harrowing leg injury forced McGregor out of the octagon in July 2021 during his bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, fight enthusiasts around the globe have been eagerly awaiting his return. McGregor recently announced his intention to re-enter the USADA testing pool, sparking excitement among his legions of followers. Yet, as White clarified during the UFC Vegas 80 post-fight press conference, the Irish superstar isn't quite back in the testing pool just yet.

"No," White stated emphatically when asked if McGregor had rejoined the USADA testing pool. "He is not officially in the USADA testing pool. He submitted the paperwork, probably by Monday he’ll be submitted. Again, don’t hold me to that, but the paperwork is submitted, next week sometime."

McGregor's absence from the octagon hasn't diminished the interest in his return. Over the past two years, several fighters have thrown their hats into the ring, vying for the opportunity to welcome him back to the sport. Michael Chandler emerged as a frontrunner, and both fighters stoked the flames of anticipation as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31. However, despite the hype, the much-anticipated bout remains unconfirmed.

One of the key factors determining McGregor's return is the mandatory six-month period of drug testing he must undergo before being cleared to compete. If he re-enters the USADA testing pool in October, there's a possibility that his comeback fight could take place in April. Notably, this aligns with the timeframe of UFC's potential landmark event, UFC 300, scheduled for the same month. Yet, White dismissed the notion that McGregor is guaranteed to headline such a significant event.

"I literally have nothing planned for Conor McGregor right now," White revealed. "The paperwork is being submitted. We'll play it by ear, see how things work out. There’s still a lot of things that have to happen as far as fights go, and then we'll decide where he's going to land."

The road to McGregor's return may be winding, but the excitement surrounding his comeback is undeniable. As the paperwork inches closer to submission and the testing resumes, the UFC community eagerly awaits the next chapter in the saga of the Irish superstar, while Dana White reminds us all that, sometimes, the best things come to those who wait.


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