CONOR MCGREGOR has shut down the prospect of not fighting Michael Chandler in his UFC return.
The Notorious has flirted with grudge matches with long-time rivals Nate Diaz and Justin Gaethje in the months following the announcement of his comeback clash with Chandler.
But the Irishman has seemingly had a change of heart and vowed to honour his promise to throw down with his fellow fan favourite in his must-win comeback fight.
The UFC's first simultaneous two-weight world champion told The Daily Mirror: "Yes, it has to be [Chandler]. It has to be."
Chandler, 37, has sat patiently on the sidelines awaiting official confirmation he'll welcome the UFC's poster boy back to the octagon.
McGregor's absence from the USADA testing pool – which he must be in for at least six months before being eligible to compete – is seemingly the reason for the delay in finalising the fight.
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UFC president Dana White confirmed the bout won't headline their final PPV card of the year in December, meaning Chandler will have been out for well over a year when they eventually lock horns.
And McGregor insists the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion is operating on his time schedule.
"Chandler sit there and wait and shut your mouth," he roared. "The Mac will be in touch."
McGregor, 35, hasn't set foot inside the octagon since breaking his leg in his Sin City trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier over two years ago.
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MMA fans are doubting the return of Mystic Mac with each passing month, but he insists: "[I'm] en route. En route, son. En route."
"It's imminent," Ireland's first and only UFC champion said of his return. "It's imminent."
Newly-minted UFC Chief Executive Officer White, however, insists there have been no developments in the Dubliner's blockbuster return.
The 54-year-old said on Tuesday night: “I got nothing on either one of those guys right now.
“I’ve been saying for a while that next year is when Conor is going to fight.
"If Chandler gets antsy, we’ll figure something out.”
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