Conor McGregor is seemingly set to return to action in 2023. UFC President Dana White announced the former two-division UFC world champion is going to be a coach for the upcoming “The Ultimate Fighter” season 31. Conor’s last appearance on the show was in TUF 22, which aired in late 2015. Hence, his return opposite Michael Chandler is going to be an amazing experience for the fans and Dana has compared it to The Rock.
While MMA fandom does not necessarily translate over to pro wrestling, there is certainly some crossover. Hence, Dana using Dwayne Johnson certainly gives the fans an idea about how special he thinks Conor’s return to the UFC is going to be. He used The Rock’s return ahead of WrestleMania 27 as the proper example to parallel when McGregor eventually returns.
So what was Dana referring to? In the early 2000s, Dwayne Johnson left WWE to pursue a career in Hollywood. With movies like “The Scorpion King” and “The Rundown,” Dwayne was slowly growing out of pro wrestling and became one of the most celebrated actors in Hollywood. But, he returned to WWE in 2011 as the host of Mania 27. His return became one of the most viral clips at the time.
Drawing parallels between the two incidents, Dana said, “He’s like The Rock, you know what I mean? The Rock is out doing all his business deals and doing all these stuff. And, when he comes back to the WWE, it’s a big deal and everybody gets excited about it.”
“That’s really how Conor has become for us. For him to come back this year, he’s gonna do, he’s coaching The Ultimate Fighter with Michael Chandler. And, it’s the first time that ESPN has ever had The Ultimate Fighter on the network. It’s been on ESPN+. So it’s a big deal for us and ESPN too.”
During his initial announcement, Dana White revealed that the 31st season of TUF will air from May 30, 2023, to August 15th on the ESPN main card. But that is not it, there is more from Conor to follow after TUF.
Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler takes place on PPV in 2023
If fans are excited to see Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler go back and forth inside the TUF house, they are going to love what is to follow next. Dana also revealed that “The Notorious One” and Chandler will indeed fight after the season is over. Conor’s last stint in the show did not end in a fight against his fellow coach Urijah Faber.
But this time, Conor McGregor will fight Michael Chandler. Dana revealed that he is set to meet both fighters after Super Bowl 2023 ends. It looks like the meetings will determine when the fight goes down eventually. One major obstacle is Conor’s absence from the USADA testing pool. After staying away from the pool for the entire 2022, Conor needs to get back to the testing pool.
McGREGOR vs CHANDLER IS CONFIRMED!!@TheNotoriousMMA and @MikeChandlerMMA will officially coach the next season of #TUF31! pic.twitter.com/effjf0Rg2M— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2023
As soon as Conor enters the testing pool, fans can start the countdown for his in-cage return. After a six-month period, McGregor is available to face anybody across the roster including Michael Chandler. At present, it appears that the company is targeting the fall of 2023 as Conor’s ideal return timeline.
When do you think Conor McGregor comes back to fighting? Let us know in the comments down below.
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