Michael Chandler doesn’t seem to be bothered by Conor McGregor’s long hiatus from drug testing. The rumors that have been swirling around this absence don’t seem to faze him either.
McGregor hasn’t stepped into the ring since he broke his leg in a trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier in 2021. He also dropped out of the drug testing pool in the third quarter of that year. The Irishman was supposed to face off against Michael Chandler after their stint as rival coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 31”.
However, things didn’t go as planned. McGregor’s delay in returning to the testing pool seemed to be a key reason behind his continued absence from the ring. There was a back-and-forth with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency before he finally returned to the pool. But not before the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a major change.
They were parting ways with USADA and partnering with Drug Free Sport International from 2024. USADA pointed fingers at the McGregor controversy as the reason behind this change. UFC executives, however, strongly refuted this claim.
Still, McGregor’s long absence from testing and his apparent hesitation to return to the pool sparked rumors. Rumors about alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. But Chandler isn’t worried about these allegations. It’s worth mentioning that McGregor has never failed a drug test during his UFC career.
“Not really. You know, everyone’s on their own journey, and everyone has different ways they do things,” Chandler told TMZ Sports. “I’ve always seen [PEDs] as a crutch. If someone could take something while they weren’t being drug tested, compared to when they were, that would be nothing but a mental hurdle to get over.”
McGregor recently announced that he’ll be fighting Chandler during International Fight Week in June, at middleweight. Chandler doesn’t have a problem fighting McGregor at any weight class.
“I’m cool with whatever weight. The way I see it, Conor and I are within a couple of pounds of each other. So, it doesn’t matter if we cut weight all the way down to 155, we fight at 170, or we fight at 185…We’re the same size guys. I don’t need to bulk up to 200-something pounds to get down to 185, it’s just not how I would operate in this training camp. So, I’m excited about it if it is 185.”