Conor McGregor vows to ‘slice through’ next opponent despite UFC return delay

Conor McGregor has vowed to ‘slice through’ his next opponent, despite his UFC return seemingly being at least six months away.

The Irishman, who became the UFC’s first ever dual-weight champion in 2016, has competed just four times in the last six years, winning only one of those bouts.

McGregor last fought in July 2021, suffering a broken leg in a defeat by Dustin Poirier, who had knocked out the 34-year-old six months prior.

“Notorious” has long teased a return to the Octagon, though he is absent from the Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing pool, which athletes must have been in for six months to be eligible to compete.

Despite the fact that McGregor will seemingly not fight again until July at the earliest, he tweeted on Friday (6 January): “I’m going to slice through someone on return. Trust that.

“And I don’t care who. Line up.”

McGregor has been linked with a potential fight against Michael Chandler, who has become a fan favourite in the UFC since joining in late 2020.

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The American, a former three-time lightweight champion in Bellator, is 2-3 in the UFC. Chandler’s debut in January 2021 saw him knock out Dan Hooker, before “Iron Mike” was submitted by Charles Oliveira with the vacant lightweight belt on the line four months later.

Chandler was then outpointed by Justin Gaethje in a fight of the year contender that November, before scoring one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history against Tony Ferguson last May. Most recently, the 36-year-old was submitted by Dustin Poirier in November.

While many fans have expressed a desire to see McGregor face fellow lightweight Chandler, the Irishman has added significant weight in recent months and has not ruled out returning at welterweight. Chandler has said he would be open to fighting McGregor at that weight.