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Conor McGregor says he will return to UFC in ‘early 2023’ despite Dana White revealing he has failed drug testing program

CONOR MCGREGOR has announced plans to make his eagerly-anticipated return to the UFC “early” next year.

The MMA superstar is in the final stages of recovery from the gruesome broken leg he suffered in his trilogy fight with rival Dustin Poirier last July.

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Conor McGregor has not fought since breaking his leg last JulyCredit: AP
The UFC superstar has been working hard in the gym rebuilding himself and looks ready to make a comeback

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The UFC superstar has been working hard in the gym rebuilding himself and looks ready to make a comebackCredit: [email protected]
The Notorious plans to return to the Octagon "EARLY" next year

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The Notorious plans to return to the Octagon “early” next yearCredit: SPORTSFILE

A late-year comeback was apparently on the cards for The Notorious, though the start of the concern – as well as his role in the upcoming Road House remake – put a damper on those plans.

He said on Instagram Live: “I’ll be back soon, I hope.

“I’m aiming for early 2023. Sometime in that first quarter.”

McGregor, 34, is currently in the Dominican Republic filming his scenes for the Hollywood film, which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal.

McGregor offered his world boxing title to another Irish fighter as talks began
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And he plans to jump back into training once filming commitments are over.

He continued: “This will give me a good few months [to prepare].

“As soon as I finish this in two days, start camp [for] a good couple of months. And go.”

Former two-division champion McGregor will not return until April at the earliest, as he is currently out of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s testing pool and has yet to be tested this year.

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USADA requires UFC fighters to enroll in their year-round testing program in order to compete in the Octagon.

UFC President Dana White revealed that future Hall of Famer McGregor was out of the testing pool last week.

When asked if Mystic Mac would have to be in the testing pool for six months before returning, he: “Yes [he’ll have to be in it for six months.]”

Fighters who have left the pool due to retirement or other reasons must be in it for at least six months before competing again.

USADA and the UFC, however, have the power to waive the six-month testing group requirement in “exceptional circumstances or when strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete.”

Conor McGregor is currently out of the USADA testing pool

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Conor McGregor is currently out of the USADA testing poolCredit: [email protected]

McGregor, however, would have to pass two drug tests before being granted an exemption.

The UFC waived a then-four-month testing requirement in 2016 in order for Brock Lesnar to return to the Octagon at UFC 200.

But the decision backfired after the WWE superstar failed his post-fight drug test, which revealed traces of the anti-estrogen drugs Clomiphene and Letrozole in his system.

McGregor will look to make a two-fight skid on Poirier when he eventually returns to the Octagon.

He said: “I feel crazy safe, calm, detached from emotions.

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“Aware of what I need to do and make it happen. Visualizing. I see it all. Clear.

“This movie ends, I’m back. I’ll have a lot of fights done by the time this movie comes out.”

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