Conor McGregor confirms UFC return and three-fight plan

Conor McGregor has named his next three opponents in grand UFC comeback plans

Lawrence Ostlere
Sunday 13 August 2023 20:27 BST
Conor McGregor feeds Irish stout to Anthony Joshua Irish stout after Robert Helenius knockout

Conor McGregor has confirmed his long-awaited UFC return with an ambitious three-fight plan to take on Michael Chandler, Justin Gaethje and a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz.

McGregor must first spend six months in the United States’ anti-doping testing pool and return two negative tests before he is eligible to fight, having not competed since 2021 – unless he is granted a special exemption.

“Chandler next, in December,” McGregor told TalkSport of his plans, speaking after Anthony Joshua’s win at the O2 Arena on Saturday night. “And then Gaethje for the BMF showdown. And following that, we’ll seal the deal with the Nate Diaz trilogy.”

McGregor and Chandler have been filming the new season ofThe Ultimate Fighter ahead of their own clash, which is still without a date, location and weight class.

Gaethje recently avenged a 2018 loss to Dustin Poirier by knocking out his fellow American with a stunning head kick to win the ‘Baddest Motherf*****’ (BMF) title. Afterwards McGregor used social media to call out Gaethje, saying: “I’ll slap you around.”

Diaz, who submitted McGregor in March 2016 before losing to the Irishman on points that August, left the UFC in September 2022 after submitting Tony Ferguson.

“I’ll get that again,” McGregor, 34, said on The MMA Hour. “We’ll get that trilogy at some stage for sure. That’s when he was gone that he was [supposed to be] doing the show. So, you know what way that is, it’s all politics and all that.

“We must fight, we’re one a piece. It’s a great rivalry, and it was a great fight. So, we gotta square that away for sure. Am I a person not to get the fights made and done? Look at all the fights I’ve had. When I say it, it happens.

“I have a load of bouts left in me and a load of stories incomplete, and I’m excited to continue on and get them done.”

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