McGregor gives timeline for UFC return, talks potential opponents Chandler, Usman and Diaz

Former two-division champion currently recovering from double fracture sustained in last bout

Conor McGregor has provided fans with an update on his possible return to the octagon.

The former two-division champion, 33, has not competed since fracturing his left tibia and fibula against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July.

In a Twitter Q&A early Sunday, McGregor said he will be cleared to return to mixed martial arts sparring by April, with his next appearance in the UFC to then be “imminent”.

"I will be full mixed martial arts sparring by April," the Irishman tweeted. "Easily! By then a return will be imminent. But I must be patient. I will beat this!"

McGregor, 33, lost his trilogy bout against Poirier by doctor’s stoppage at the end of the first round in Las Vegas. He has since said he had multiple stress fractures going into the clash at T Mobile Arena.

Beforehand, in January, McGregor was defeated in his rematch with Poirier, seven years in the making, at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. The second-round TKO represented the first knockout loss of his professional MMA career.

Last week, McGregor tweeted that he would be fighting whoever is the lightweight champion at the time of his return. Poirier challenges current belt-holder Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 on December 11 in Las Vegas.

On Sunday, during his online Q&A, McGregor praised former Bellator champion Michael Chandler despite his defeat to Justin Gaethje at this month’s UFC 268, while he also questioned welterweight champion Kamaru Usman’s credentials following his successful title defence against Colby Covington on the same card. McGregor has recently cited both Chandler and Usman as potential future opponents.

On Chandler, the former featherweight and lightweight champion tweeted: “Hard not to be impressed. In a game of inches he has been incredibly close each time! Could well be today’s champion."

Referencing Usman-Covington, McGregor wrote: “Thought Colby lumped him up nice last fight. Finished stronger. Without that 2nd round knockdown it’s Colby’s fight [in my opinion]. If even still. I see many holes. As well as a suspect dome. I fancy it greatly for the treble.”

Meanwhile, McGregor also said a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz is “1 billion per cent! A must!” The hugely popular rivalry, which played out across five months in 2016, stands at 1-1.

Updated: November 29th 2021, 6:23 AM