Conor McGregor officially books 2023 UFC return fight

The biggest star in UFC history, Conor McGregor, has officially booked his long-awaited return to the Octagon after a year and a half away from the sport.

The last time MMA fans saw Conor McGregor inside the cage, the former two-division champion needed to be assisted out of the Octagon after breaking two bones in his leg during a technical knockout loss to Dustin Poirier, in July 2021. The loss was his second straight to “Diamond” and third in his last four bouts.

Fight fans around the world have loudly clamored for the megastar to get back into the cage and rise back to prominence. However, the wait as he recovers from leg surgery has been much longer than expected. Well, the wait is finally over.

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On Saturday morning, ESPN was the first to formally announce “Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor have been named coaches of The Ultimate Fighter. They will face off in the octagon at the end of the season.”

The long road to Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler

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A potential scrap between the UFC icon and the former multi-time Bellator lightweight champion is one that has developed a great deal of momentum since “Iron” joined the MMA world leader in 2020. The 36-year-old has called for the matchup for nearly three years, however, “Notorious” was often resistant to the fight for much of that time.

However, Chandler has become a hugely popular competitor in the promotion during a 2-3 run that has seen him fight for the division title, win 2021 “fight of the year,” and deliver highlight reel moments in every single UFC bout he has competed in.

Last week, it was rumored that Tony Ferguson would be opposite Conor McGregor as a coach for an upcoming edition of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and then as an opponent following the show’s recording. However, Chandler tried to shut down the rumors this week, and obviously, he had an inside reason to do so.

Season 31 of TUF, featuring Team McGregor vs Team Chandler, will air on ESPN/ESPN+ starting on May 30 and run through Aug. 15. Both Chandler and McGregor will enter their planned bout off a loss to Poirier.

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