McGregor has not fought in the UFC since his loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. The defeat had been compounded by a leg injury that kept McGregor out of the octagon for more than two years. However, the hopes of seeing McGregor were boosted after the Irishman’s decision to re-enter the USADA testing pool. That would require McGregor to provide two negative samples over a six-month period in order to compete. That had raised hopes that McGregor could fight in April. However, Kavanagh has dismissed those hopes.
“We were hoping for April, that was the hope and that was what we were told. Then, now it seems to be the summertime. This coming April [was the goal]. You probably saw the same soundbite that I did, I don’t know [what’s holding it up], and we had a little back and forth earlier today. So, are they holding him back for fight week? So International Fight Week? I don’t really know… Yeah, okay. It’s a knockback from April to July, but it’s not the end of the world,” Kavanagh stated
In addition, Dana White had suggested something similar by confirming that a McGregor fight had been discussed for the summer against Michael Chandler. That is unlikely to help McGregor, who had spoken about having his ‘livelihood’ deprived due to the long absence from the octagon. Nevertheless, a return for next summer could prove huge, given the massive build-up that could follow.
“Talked to him yesterday, too. He’s good. He’s ready. He wants the [fight]. He’s gotta sit out the six months to get back into their drug testing pool. Realistically, we could be looking at him next summer,” White revealed