Conor McGregor’s Next Fight Will Be At Least 6 Months From Now
— Updated on 16 February 2024

Conor McGregor’s Next Fight Will Be At Least 6 Months From Now

— Updated on 16 February 2024
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

It’s been over two years since Conor McGregor headlined a UFC main event — the longest period he’s been absent from the promotion since his crossover bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr — with countless fans now wondering about his next fight.

The self-proclaimed “mad Irish baby” of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Lee, former two-division champion, and Irish superstar has teased a UFC comeback on multiple occasions. Especially while recovering from a nasty leg injury sustained during his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier.

But provocative online chat aside: when is McGregor realistically millionaire walking his ass back into the Octagon? Here’s everything we know about Conor McGregor’s next fight.

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Conor McGregor's Next Fight Set For December According To Leak
(Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Conor McGregor Overview

Name: Conor Anthony McGregor (“Notorious”)
Age: 34
Date of Birth: July 14, 1988
Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Last Official Weight: 156 lb (71 kg)
Reach: 74 in (188 cm)
Style: Boxing & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Brown Belt)
Coach & Team: John Kavanagh & SBG Ireland
Nationality: Irish (from Crumlin, Dublin)
Net Worth: $200 million (Estimated)
Social Media Accounts: Instagram — @thenotoriousmma (46 million followers) | Twitter — @thenotoriousmma (9.8 million followers)

Conor McGregor MMA Career Stats

MMA Record: 22 Wins (19 Knockouts, 1 Submission, 2 Decisions) — 6 Losses (2 Knockouts, 4 Submissions)
UFC Record: 10 Wins (9 Knockouts, 2 Decisions) — 4 Losses (2 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)
Accolades & Accomplishments:

  • Interim UFC Featherweight Champion (One time)
  • UFC Featherweight Champion (One time)
  • UFC Lightweight Champion (One time)
  • Fight of the Night (Two times) vs Nate Diaz (2)
  • Knockout of the Night (One time) vs Marcus Brimage
  • Performance of the Night (Seven times) vs Diego Brandão, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver, Chad Mendes, José Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, Donald Cerrone
  • First Irish-born UFC champion
  • Third Multi-Divisional Champion in UFC history (Featherweight, Lightweight)
  • First Simultaneous Multi-Divisional Champion in UFC history (Featherweight, Lightweight)
  • Most Consecutive Performance of the Night Awards in UFC history (5)
  • Most Consecutive Post-Fight Bonuses in UFC history (8)
  • Tied for Second-Most Performance of the Night awards as a UFC Fighter (7)
  • Fastest Title Fight Victory in UFC history (13 seconds) vs José Aldo
  • CWFC Featherweight Champion (One time)
  • CWFC Lightweight Champion (One time)

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When Will Conor McGregor Return To The UFC?

Despite his earlier claims that it wasn’t actually in development, UFC President Dana White has confirmed Conor McGregor will fight Michael Chandler for his 2023 UFC return.

In the lead-up, both the former two-division champion and Bellator transplant served as opposing coaches in The Ultimate Fighter season 31 — Team McGregor vs Team Chandler — which premiered back in May and wrapped up in August.

For those who missed it, Team McGregor’s Brad Katona won the bantamweight final (for the second time) via Unanimous Decision while Team Chandler’s Kurt Holobaugh came out on top from the lightweight bracket via Submission.

At this stage, however, neither a date nor a fight card has been officially announced for McGregor vs Chandler. Although it’ll probably happen in Las Vegas.

“I don’t even know when Conor McGregor is coming back,” admitted White back in December 2022.

All we know for certain at this stage is that McGregor is fully recovered from his broken leg (and then some) and he’s raring to go. As soon as he clears a few high-profile commitments (read: distractions) like Amazon’s Road House reboot in which he stars alongside the Academy Award-nominated Jake Gyllenhaal.

“I’m feeling crazy confident. Calm. Detached from emotion,” Conor McGregor tweeted.

“Aware of what I must do and making it happen. Visualising. I see it all. Clear.”

“This movie wraps [Amazon’s Road House reboot], I’m back. I’ll have multiple fights completed by the time this movie even releases.”

Well that was a lie…

First Look 'Road House' Starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Conor McGregor

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UFC 296?

The MMA world was sent into hysterics when a “leaked” screenshot of the UFC 296 event countdown on UFC Fight Pass began circulating online.

It indicated the final pay-per-view card of 2023 would be headlined by Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. Which is enough confirmation for most people.

And just to add fuel to the fire, McGregor himself shared this very image on Twitter, seemingly backing the bold claim that he’ll fight before the year’s end.

This has, however, since been debunked. UFC 296 will be co-headlined by Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington and Alexandre Pantoja vs Brandon Royval II.

The pay-per-view closer for 2023 also currently features Tony Ferguson vs Paddy Pimblett, Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Stephen Thompson, Vincente Luque vs Ian Machado Garry, as well as Casey O’Neill vs Ariane Lipski.

Conor McGregor's Next Fight Set For December According To Leak

The USADA Problem

Given all UFC athletes are required to be enrolled in the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug testing program for a minimum of six months before fighting, this is perhaps the best indication regarding the actual timeline of Conor McGregor’s next fight.

On October 8th, 2023, USADA formally announced that Mystic Mac had officially re-enrolled into said testing pool. Assuming he doesn’t get popped during his second test, theoretically speaking, we could finally see Conor McGregor in the Octagon again by April 8th, 2024.

Now I know what you’re thinking: why wasn’t he already/still enrolled? Shortly after his leg snapped against Dustin Poirier’s at UFC 264, McGregor had withdrawn from the programme to recover. Potentially with the help of peptides and what have you.

When news of this surfaced, in addition to the fact McGregor has been the sole UFC fighter who hadn’t been tested in 2022, it drew the ire of light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith, who stated it “bothered the f**k out of him.”

“There’s only one reason you would do that. He’s looking jacked as s**t,” Anthony Smith told MMA Junkie.

“You keep seeing videos of him flexing in front of mirrors and screaming and he’s huge. He healed really fast. Like, really fast.”

As you can imagine, McGregor responded quick-smart, affirming his withdrawal had been a necessary “allowance” for him to heal from the “horrific” injuries he suffered.

“He, like many other rats in my game, would be happier if I wasn’t able to play with my children the same again,” said McGregor.

“I am the most tested fighter [of] all time in combat sport. I give everything to this game.”

Interestingly enough, the UFC and USADA’s partnership is set to conclude without a renewal on December 31st, 2023. Meaning this could all very well be for naught.

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Possible Opponents Beyond Michael Chandler

The fighters that have consistently been in the conversation vis-à-vis Conor McGregor’s next fight along with their merits are as follows:

  • Dustin Poirier IV
    Gruesome and meme-worthy as it was, the first-round doctor stoppage at UFC 264 was rather anti-climactic with many viewing the Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier trilogy as incomplete. Running it back would bring about some closure for the fans.
  • Stephen Thompson
    Pitting two incredibly creative strikers of Wonderboy and McGregor’s calibre would be a dream (proof: Stephen Thompson vs Kevin Holland Fight Night). Outside the cage, the dynamic would also be hilarious. Imagine the UFC roster’s nicest guy — the NMF title holder — against someone as abrasive as McGregor. Plus Thompson deserves a healthy payday.
  • Charles Oliveira
    Yet another stylistically tasty match-up, in this case with a fellow former lightweight champ who occupies the grappling side of the MMA coin (while McGregor obviously likes to keep things standing) and tends to put on a good show. Absence of belts be damned, Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira and Mystic Mac are both the people’s champs.
  • Alexander Volkanovski
    No further explanation really required. Australia’s current featherweight champion and former pound-for-pound king recently kicked it up a notch after a well-documented history of vague threats (mostly instigated by McGregor) by formally issuing a challenge via Twitter: “Anytime, anywhere, any weight.” Watch the pay-per-view money print.
  • Leon Edwards
    There’s been plenty of speculation about McGregor’s weight, usually spoken in the same breath as the speculation about a move up to the welterweight division, considering he (apparently) tipped the scale beyond 200 pounds in the past few months. Experimenting with current champion Leon Edwards — or even the likes of Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Khamzat Chimiaev — is something we’d certainly pay to see.
  • The Return of Nate Diaz(?)
    Yes, Nate Diaz has retired from the promotion after a vintage performance against Tony Ferguson at last September’s UFC 279. But you know what’d probably draw him back in? Earning some extra cheddar by completing his own McGregor trilogy. Let’s see how Stockton’s finest is feeling after his proposed MMA rematch against Jake Paul, who he lost to during their boxing bout.
Conor McGregor Next Fight: When Will The Notorious Return?
(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

… but considering he’s only 2-3 from his last five fights, perhaps UFC boss Dana White will feed him a contender with fewer elite skills than the UFC athletes listed above — or perhaps an athlete on their way out like poor old Donald Cerrone — to rebuild momentum for the foightin’ Irishman’s hype train.

This is also assuming McGregor continues fighting after the forecasted battle ahead against the human gorilla that is Michael Chandler. Whenever/If that ever even happens. For the time being, the future of Conor McGregor as a UFC fighter still remains… cloudy.

Let’s just hope the theatrics and drama of his life beyond the cage don’t overshadow his athletic endeavours. It’d certainly be a waste of talent.

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Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]