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Irish MMA star Conor McGregor to face Michael Chandler in return to UFC action

Conor McGregor yells as he sits on the mat after an injury during his lightweight mixed martial arts bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 on Saturday, July 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Locher

Irish MMA star Conor (Notorious) McGregor is returning to action to face (Iron) Michel Chandler after the two serve as rival coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter."

Season 31 of the UFC's reality TV show will run May 30 through Aug. 15 with McGregor and Chandler then facing off in the Octagon. 

A date and location have yet to be confirmed, UFC president Dana White said in making the announcement in a video Saturday. 

McGregor (22-4-0) has not fought since breaking his leg in a loss to Dustin (The Diamond) Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021. 

The 34-year-old Irish star has held both the featherweight and lightweight UFC titles.

Chandler (23-8-0) is a former Bellator champion. 

He lost last time out to Poirier, submitted in the third round at UFC 281 in November.

The 36-year-old American is ranked fifth among 155-pound contenders.

Both fighters have has lost three of their last four fights. 

McGregor was beaten twice by Poirier and once by former lightweight titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

Chandler lost to Charles (do Bronx) Oliveira, Justin (The Highlight) Gaethje and Poirier.

White also said former light-heavyweight champion Jon (Bones) Jones and bantamweight star Sean (Sugar) O'Malley have both signed new eight-fight deals.

Jones is slated to take on France's Ciryl (Bon Gamin) Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title at UFC 285 on March 4 in Las Vegas.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2023

The Canadian Press

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