Despite UFC star Conor McGregor’s recent suggestion that the UFC was prepared to move past Michael Chandler as a prospective opponent, UFC President Dana White has assured fans that McGregor’s fight against Chandler will still happen.
McGregor and Chandler have been cast as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31, with plans for a face-off at the season’s culmination, as is typically done.
However, McGregor has put all that into question by not only not taking part in the USADA drug testing pool, but also oddly suggesting that he’d rather box Floyd Mayweather than fight Chandler at the end of this season of TUF, raising serious doubts about his true willingness to return to the octagon.
White, on the other hand, spoke at the post-fight press conference for the Contender Series on Tuesday evening, confirming his conversation with McGregor.
“I talked to Conor, either yesterday or the day before, and yeah, he’s ready to fight. I said, ‘Listen, get in shape and let’s figure this out,'” said White.
Following Justin Gaethje’s victory over Dustin Poirier in the UFC 291 main event on July 29, McGregor challenged the new BMF champion. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the Irish fighter hinted that the promotion might be inclined to match him against an alternative opponent to Chandler.
“I’ll do it if they want, no [problem],” posted McGregor. “I don’t think they want him not more [though]. There’s loads of juicy fights around and my return date is my return date. I never gave a f**k about who it was. Ever. I’ll fight anyone. I’ll even fly them to me, ask [Paulie Malignaggi]. Flown in and [beat] around.”
According to White however, McGregor is just talking to talk and shouldn’t be taken serious.
“Yeah, he’s fighting Chandler. He likes to f**k with everybody,” said White. “You know what I mean? Especially his opponent, or possible opponents.”
So far McGregor’s team of prospects have dealt with the worst losing streak in TUF history, with only one of his original fighters left in the semi-finals, forcing half of Team Chandler to convert to Team McGregor for the remainder of the season just to keep things going. Additionally, other than his avoidance of USADA drug testing, McGregor is currently fighting accusations of rape.