Conor McGregor’s lon- awaited return to the UFC will have to wait a little longer.
Despite McGregor announcing plans to face Michael Chandler on June 29 at the annual International Fight Week card in Las Vegas, UFC CEO Dana White revealed that no date has actually been set for the highly anticipated matchup. In fact, White says he’s now targeting late 2024 for the matchup after McGregor and Chandler first clashed as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter in early 2023.
“Eventually,” White told The Pat McAfee Show when asked about McGregor vs. Chandler. “Hopefully this year. There is no date. I’m hoping for the fall. [Hopefully] we get it done in the fall.”
This is the latest delay to the fight that was initially expected sometime this past year after McGregor was announced as a coach on the reality show, which aired during summer 2023. At the time, McGregor hadn’t returned to the UFC’s anti-doping program after he suffered a devastating broken leg in his last outing against Dustin Poirier in 2021.
McGregor finally returned to the anti-doping program this past October but he’s required to undergo six months of testing before returning to the octagon.
That timeline cleared the way for a potential return at UFC 300 in April but McGregor threw cold water on that idea after announcing that he would face Chandler on June 29.
Now it seems that date is no longer in play either.
As for Chandler, he’s remained steadfast that he will wait for McGregor because that’s the fight he’s been promised ever since he coached the reality show opposite the former two-division UFC champion.
“I’m not going to lie to you and say there weren’t moments of frustration,” Chandler told MMA Fighting in January. “Moments of, ‘Screw it, fight somebody else!’ That’s what everybody was saying I should do for months now.
“But I signed my name to this contract, made this commitment. I want to fight Conor. He wants to fight me. It’s just not on everybody’s timeline.”
Chandler last fought at UFC 281 in November 2022, which means he’ll likely end up spending nearly two years out of action before clashing with McGregor — and that’s assuming a date gets made in the fall.
For now, the McGregor vs. Chandler booking saga continues with no end in sight.