Conor McGregor wants Michael Chandler in June, Nate Diaz trilogy at The Sphere but ‘lack of action’ causing him to lose enthusiasm

Conor McGregor just wants to fight.

The former two-division UFC champion hasn’t competed since 2021 when he suffered a devastating broken leg in a trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier but he’s been rumored for a comeback for the past year. He initially signed on to star on The Ultimate Fighter with plans to face fellow coach Michael Chandler sometime in 2023.

Because he still had to re-enter the UFC’s anti-doping program following his long absence, McGregor’s return was pushed back yet again but it appeared the stars were aligning for a potential headline spot at the historic UFC 300 card in April. That didn’t happen and then suddenly McGregor announced plans to face Chandler on June 29, which is the date for UFC 303 to cap off this year’s International Fight Week.

UFC CEO Dana White threw cold water on that idea as well and stated that he hoped to have McGregor back by the fall but nothing was done yet. Now McGregor has addressed the constant delays booking his next fight and he admits it’s having a negative effect on him.

“Still holding hope for June 29,” McGregor said about his next fight while answering questions via Instagram Stories. “Lack of action on it, however, is now causing lack of enthusiasm. I need a decision soon. I am the most tested athlete under this new regime. Yet no date to fight.

“The game is a bit lackluster also at present, which isn’t helping. I hope these next few cards pop and I get a date. Eliminate distractions and begin real work towards it.”

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There’s never been an official reason given for McGregor’s delayed return to the cage outside of White touting the fortune that the Irish superstar amassed during his career has possibly stood in the way of fighting again.

“Conor McGregor doesn’t need the f****** money,” White said in February. “So, when you don’t need the money, it’s not as easy — I mean, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] doesn’t need the money. Khabib retired.”

McGregor didn’t comment on White’s reasoning for the delay in booking his next fight but it appears he’s still trying to make his return happen sooner rather than later.

In fact, McGregor’s Q&A happened exactly eight years to the day that he suffered his first loss in the UFC after falling to Nate Diaz on March 5, 2016. McGregor avenged that loss five months later when he beat Diaz by majority decision in an all-time classic at UFC 202.

Talks about a trilogy have simmered for years but McGregor has never had the chance to finish the rubber match with Diaz, especially after Diaz exited the UFC in free agency.

Just recently, Diaz posted about making his return to the UFC for the upcoming card at The Sphere in Las Vegas in September, which takes place during Mexican Independence Day weekend. It seems that caught McGregor’s attention as well when mapping out his ideal schedule for 2024.

“I wish for this on Mexican Independence Day in The Sphere,” McGregor said about the Diaz trilogy. “Chandler June, Diaz September. I have let this be known.”

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Whether McGregor gets his wish or not remains to be seen but as much as he wants to return to the UFC, he’s also keeping a watchful eye on opportunities in boxing as well.

McGregor previously pursued a matchup against multi-time boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and it looks like that’s still a fight he wants, especially now that Saudi Arabia has started paying out huge sums of money to land some of the biggest fights in combat sports.

“It’s still there,” McGregor said about facing Pacquiao. “Could be December. The Saudis are game changers in the market 100 percent.”

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