Conor McGregor says UFC return vs. Michael Chandler is set for this summer

Conor McGregor is interviewed upon arrival at the premiere for the the film 'Road House' in London, Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Conor McGregor is making his way back to the Octagon. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Conor McGregor's long-awaited UFC return is set to take place against Michael Chandler soon, it appears.

"We got confirmation a few days ago that it's all systems go," McGregor told ESPN's Marc Raimondi on Tuesday. "'The Mac,' 'The Notorious' will be returning to the UFC Octagon this summer."

While the former two-division champion didn't offer a date, he made sure to address Chandler while discussing the fight. Chandler appeared on an episode of WWE's "Monday Night Raw" last month and called McGregor out, screaming about their "unfinished business."

"Shut up, Michael, you f***ing imbecile," McGregor responded Tuesday. "The man doesn't shut up. I seen him on 'Raw.' I like Mike but I'm going to bust him up. I'm going to bust Mike up, yeah? If I say it, I do it. If I say it, it gets done. Put that on my stone."

Since the UFC hasn't announced McGregor's return, it's also unclear where they'll fight and what the weight will be. In February 2023, the Irish mixed martial artist claimed that he and Chandler would clash after they finished coaching against each other on season 31 of "The Ultimate Fighter." Fans weren't given a date or weight until 11 months later, when McGregor announced that the bout was scheduled for June 29 at UFC 303.

Chandler joked about McGregor's confirmation of the timeline via social media Tuesday:

McGregor initially said they would fight at 185 pounds, which wouldn't have been a normal weight for either opponent. McGregor competed from 145 to 170 lbs for most of his career. Chandler's average weight is closer to 155 pounds, but he has expressed his willingness to bulk up for the fight. The 37-year-old last fought in 2022, a loss to Dustin Poirier.

During a podcast appearance in January, Chandler (23-8) said that he's reached 190 pounds, boasting that he's "heavier than McGregor."

We don't have confirmation of that, as McGregor said Tuesday that he hasn't weighed himself since his last official fight. That would've been about three years ago, when the 35-year-old broke his left leg against Poirier in July 2021. McGregor is 22-6 in his career, which saw him making history as he held both the lightweight and featherweight titles in 2016.

Since then, McGregor has filled his time outside of the Octagon with plenty of other endeavors. His most recent return tease came as part of a tour to promote "Road House," his new Amazon Prime movie. McGregor's media obligations landed him in New York, and he claimed that his workout plans include biking in Central Park for cardio and training with boxing coach Phil Sutcliffe.

"I had [my training] camp in Dubai [months ago], I had a camp in Cannes," McGregor told ESPN. "I was preparing, and then I was kind of getting nothing back. And then other things came up and I kind of dipped out. But now, it's on. So, there's no messing now. I cannot dip out now."