Amidst ugly USADA – UFC rift, Conor McGregor submits samples and gets drug-testing done ahead of much-awaited comeback

Conor McGregor's UFC comeback amid the USADA split sparks rumors of potential opponents and title implications, adding intrigue to his return.


Amidst ugly USADA – UFC rift, Conor McGregor submits samples and gets drug-testing done ahead of much-awaited comeback

Conor McGregor provide USADA samples

Conor McGregor found himself in a recent controversy related to the USAD-UFC split. The USADA CEO hinted in a statement that the MMA fighter and a popular podcast host were partially responsible for the UFC’s split with USADA. Amidst this rift, McGregor entered into the USADA testing pool.

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McGregor has now given samples for drug testing. USADA updated their athlete test results, showing that McGregor provided 3 USADA Sample Counts and 1 USADA Test Session Count in 2023. The news was tweeted on X by Aaron Bronsteter and Jed Goodman. McGregor is presumed to make his comeback at UFC 300. Fans have calculated the timeline after entering the USADA testing pool and speculated that UFC 300 is the earliest he could return.

When McGregor makes his return, the USADA will not be part of UFC. The UFC recently announced Drug-Free Sports International as its anti-doping partner starting in 2024. They appointed George Piro, a renowned former FBI Special Agent, to oversee the drug testing program independently. Many say that USADA’s policies did not suit MMA and fit best with Olympic Sports.

Michael Chandler is the presumed opponent for McGregor on his return. They were rival coaches on TUF 31. However, there are also speculations about Charles Oliveira, Justin Gaethje, and even champion Islam Makhachev fighting McGregor. Oliveira has already called him out whilst Daniel Cormier insinuated that McGregor was the next opponent for Makhachev. With Charles Oliveira presumed to get the next title shot, Gaethje is set to wait for the winner. This has opened a path for the McGregor vs Gaethje matchup.

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Justin Gaethje is not eagerly looking for a Conor McGregor fight

ESPN’s Marc Raimondi recently interviewed Justin Gaethje. He spoke passionately about his fight journey. Furthermore, he expressed a strong desire for a title shot. He also reflected on his past competitors. Gaethje defeated Dustin Poirier and won the BMF title. Gaethje stated he will wait for the presumed Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev winner.

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor (Image via: Al Arabiya)

When Raimondi suggested that he could fight McGregor before the title shot, Gaethje was not in. Gaethje was only willing to entertain a Conor McGregor fight if there was some sort of official discussion or confirmation. This is what he said to Raimondi about not fighting McGregor:

He's fighting Chandler next.
Justin Gaethje via ESPN

During the interview, Gaethje also discussed his relationships with other fighters. He spoke about his respect for Max Holloway deeply. He also shared memories of his past ties with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. As he considers potential matchups, Justin Gaethje is dedicated to thrilling his fans.

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