After months of rumors about “The Notorious” and his status in the USADA drug testing pool, UFC President Dana White confirmed that McGregor has dropped out of the program.
Aaron Bronsteter of TSN dug deep into the USADA’s public database last month and found that McGregor was the only UFC fighter who hadn’t been tested since 2022. At the press conference after UFC 280, reporter Farah Hannoun asked White about what was going on.
“Talking about USADA, it looks like Conor McGregor hasn’t been tested this year, based on the database,” she said. “Would he have to wait six months to be able to compete?”
White said, “Yes.”
“He can’t come back for six months?” she went back to it.
“Right,” said White.
After understanding the situation, it seems almost obvious that McGregor would be taken out of the USADA program while doctors treated his badly broken leg, which was in a tricky spot near the ankle. USADA says that a lot of treatments and rehabilitation programs use substances that improve performance in a competitive setting.
Since McGregor isn’t fighting and needs the best medical care to keep fighting, it makes sense to let him step out of the program while he goes through rehab. As long as he submits himself to USADA testing for the full period of time required before returning to competition, he is in compliance with the regulations.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t something strange about McGregor’s sudden growth spurt. He hasn’t been shy about posting pictures of his new muscle mass or his desire to move up to Welterweight since he’s been off. There’s a good chance he got a pass because of his leg, and now he’s taking everything known to science to get ready for his “Historic Comeback.”
McGregor is still determined to come back and win a third title at 170 pounds. After UFC 280, he took some time to challenge Islam Makhachev, who had just won the Lightweight title by beating Charles Oliveira.
If McGregor really wants to fight Islam Makhachev, it can’t happen until at least May 2023. Until “The Notorious” goes through the six-month USADA testing period, what he says every week about beating the champions in multiple divisions won’t mean as much as it used to.