EXCLUSIVE: Conor McGregor’s Ex-Sparring Partner Reveals Details on McGregor’s UFC Return

Irish welterweight boxing contender and ex-sparring partner of Conor McGregor, Dylan Moran, has revealed that McGregor is “seriously training away,” for a UFC return, and “I can confidently predict we will see him back in the octagon.”

Moran revealed details to Sporting Post on McGregor’s current situation with the UFC and his external businesses:

“I’d love to see him back in the octagon,” Moran explained. “I know for a fact he is seriously training away. He’s also seriously sparring away as well as we speak, I don’t know specifically when he is going to be back in the ring.”

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“…I know he is grafting away really seriously outside of fighting as well,” Moran pointed out.” He is absolutely smashing it in business.” As of August 2023, McGregor has three primary enterprises, Proper Twelve Irish Whiskey, McGregor Fast, and Black Forged Irish Stout.

Still, the Irish MMA superstar continues to expand his ‘McGregor’ empire. McGregor made #1 in the 2021 Forbes highest paid athletes, which is unprecedented for any athlete coming from MMA.

“…He has got other things on his plate at the moment, but I can confidently predict we will see him back in the octagon,” Moran continued. “When that will be, I can’t exactly predict.”

2023 Return is Unlikely for Conor McGregor

McGregor is slated to fight Michael Chandler in the finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 31. However, the fight is in a precarious position as McGregor has yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool. In addition to this, McGregor shunned his matchup with Chandler in a since deleted Tweet from July 30, that called out the current BMF title holder Justin Gaethje.

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Going by USADA’s own rules, any athlete returning to the testing pool from ‘retirement’ must supply two clean tests and be present in the testing pool for atleast six months before competing again, or they can be exempt under “exceptional circumstances”. Since UFC 296 on December 16 is the last PPV of the 2023, it’s highly likely McGregor has missed his deadline to compete this year. This hasn’t stopped fans and fighters from speculating on his return, however.

One former rival, Dustin Poirier, pointed out on “The MMA Hour” that “[McGregor] needs to pass a drug test. …If we change the rules for him to compete… we make a mockery of [the UFC].” As it stands, if McGregor is the recipient of any “exceptional circumstance” bypass from USADA, it calls into question the integrity of the UFC and USADA.

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Mathew Riddle MMA

Mathew Riddle

Mathew is a combat sports journalist & designer. His past bylines include Sports Illustrated, Heavy on UFC, Sport Skeeda, MMA UK, and MMA Sucka.