Conor McGregor hasn’t competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) since he badly broke his leg losing to Dustin Poirier in the summer of 2021.
Since then, the Irish star has been uninjured and participated in the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter”, where he and UFC lightweight Michael Chandler trained separate teams.
According to tradition, the coaches meet at the start for a game after the end of the season. It has long been rumored that McGregor and Chandler will meet at the end of December at UFC 296 – without announcing the match.
Earlier this week, McGregor sent MMA fans to heaven, when he shared a screenshot on X/Twitter of what appeared to be official confirmation of the big fight between him and Chandler.
In the leaked image, which is allegedly taken from UFC Fight Pass, the organization’s streaming service, one can read that Chandler and McGregor will meet at UFC 296, on Saturday, December 16th.
The only problem is that the UFC, for its part, hasn’t come up with an announcement for the Chandler vs. McGregor in his official channels.
Thursday night NST got UFC President Dana White Question about the leaked photo.
-I don’t know where the photo came from, but it’s not from UFC Fight Pass. My team tells me it’s artificial intelligence (AI). It was fake. If it’s real, you’ll hear it from us, White explained, according to MMA reporter Jed I. Goodman.
White was also asked if the fight could be held on December 16 at UFC 296 – something that has long been speculated.
– I really have no idea. White replied: We’ll see what happens.
The biggest uncertainty surrounding McGregor’s long-awaited return is that the 35-year-old must go through a doping program before he can fight.
Normally, athletes must be registered for testing with USADA’s doping program for six months, and tested at least twice, before they can fight in a UFC tournament.
But there have been reports that McGregor might be exempt from the rule, but this has not been confirmed.
Chandler has already started preparing for the big fight against McGregor.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”