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Conor McGregor’s UFC return delayed , says John Kavanagh

Conor McGregor’s comeback to the UFC has been pushed back again, his coach John Kavanagh of SBG Ireland revealed on Monday.

“We were expecting April. That’s what they told us. And now it looks like it’s going to be the summer,” Kavanagh said on The MMA Hour.
“I don’t know the reason. That’s what we were discussing today.”

McGregor said in late October that the UFC was aiming for April for his return fight. He was unhappy with his long absence since July 2021 and hoped that April would be a realistic goal for the organization. The former UFC champion in two weight classes officially joined the UFC’s drug-testing program with USADA on Oct. 8, which means he can fight again on April 8, 2024, according to USADA rules. He recently completed his first drug tests since joining the program.

Kavanagh admitted that McGregor and the team are “very annoyed” by this latest update. He wondered if the UFC wants to save McGregor for International Fight Week, which usually happens in July, and guessed that the UFC may have decided to delay McGregor’s comeback because they think UFC 300 in April will be a big enough event without McGregor on the pay-per-view.

Kavanagh also said he’s worried about how a longer wait will affect McGregor’s mental health, since he’s already restless. Kavanagh said he hopes the UFC changes its mind and sticks to an April date for McGregor. If that happens, he thinks McGregor would be ready to fight again in 2024 “in September or the end of the summer,” if he’s healthy. He added that he expects Michael Chandler at 170 pounds to be the next opponent and that McGregor has been fully healed from his leg injury “for a while” now.


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