Prior to welcoming the first moments of 2024, McGregor took to social media and announced that he will make his UFC return on June 29th for his long-awaited bout with Michael Chandler. This announcement was welcomed by fight fans worldwide, seeing as McGregor has been out of the game for over two years now while rehabilitating the broken leg he suffered in his last bout with Dustin Poirier.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 31, 2023
“Ladies and gentlemen, a Happy New Year to you all. I’d like to announce the return date for myself, the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, the greatest comeback of all time will take place in Las Vegas for International Fight Week, June the 29th… and the opponent, Michael Chandler. And the weight, Mr. Chandler, 185 pounds,”
-McGregor’s announcement via Twitter (X)
But, just this past Saturday during the UFC 297 post-fight press conference, White indicated that McGregor would not be fighting in June, or on the recently rescheduled Saudi Arabia card.
However, White did not comment at all on what weight McGregor’s return would be at when it finally does occur. In the Irishman’s New Year’s Eve announcement, he claimed that the contracted weight will be at 185-pounds, the heaviest either competitor has fought at. But, after learning that the return date was not official, the entire situation has been brought into question.
Dana White stays mum on Conor McGregor's return after #UFC297
"When Conor's ready to fight, you know we'll announce it. That's what we do." pic.twitter.com/s1LJDthUzj
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) January 21, 2024
“Uuuuh, no,” White said regarding McGregor’s June declaration. “When Conor is ready to fight, you know we’ll announce it. That’s what we’ll do.”
While White did answer the question regarding McGregor’s return timeline with a decent degree of certainty, anything could happen in the fight game and plans seem to change almost constantly.
First, the thought was that McGregor and Chandler would settle their beef that developed on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter at UFC 300 in April. Then, it sounded as though the bout would be pushed to June to occur during International Fight Week 2024. But now, things are completely up in the air.
One thing for sure is that Chandler is ready and waiting. In response to McGregor’s announcement, he had no problem in agreeing to the suggestion that the fight should take place at middleweight, and at this point he likely just wants to get things officially scheduled instead of being stuck in this outrageous waiting pattern.
I always said I wanted you at your biggest, your baddest and your best. 185 would look good on me.
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 31, 2023