Conor McGregor has been out of action since July 2021
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Conor McGregor fans have been left baffled after the Irishman posted a picture without his iconic beard. A clean-shaven McGregor took to Instagram to share a photo of a Halloween family meal out at his recently acquired pub, the Black Forge Inn, Dublin.
Dressed as a pilot alongside fiancée Dee Devlin and his two children, the photo was captioned: “The sky is the limit. Come fly with me. #happyhalloween @blackforgeinn.”
Underneath the post, the comment section was filled with McGregor’s famous phrase “who da f*** is that guy” as fans reacted to his new look.
@mahyartdb wrote: “You look hilariously funny without a beard. Looking like a Disney movie train rider.”
@moudi_askari commented: “Bring the beard back.”
@blacklvsmatter_ added: “Conor I love you but please don’t ever shave your beard again champ champ, reminds me of 60 gs baby dayz.”
@e.xtc1 concluded: “Beardless Conor looks like Colby [Covington] and John Cena had a kid.”
McGregor has been out of the UFC Octagon since July 2021, when he broke his left fibula and tibia against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. The former two-weight world champion recently claimed that he would be returning to action in early 2023.
However, this is unlikely given the fact that he has been out of the USADA drugs testing pool since the third quarter of 2021. According to the UFC’s official anti-doping partner’s rules and regulations, fighters must be subject to six months of random drugs testing before being granted permission to compete.
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Both USADA and the UFC do have the power to waive this clause in ‘exceptional circumstances’ or where the rule would be ‘manifestly unfair’ to an athlete. This exemption was exercised when Brock Lesnar made his UFC return against Mark Hunt in 2016.
Lesnar went on to defeat Hunt via unanimous decision. However, the result was quickly overturned after it was revealed that Lesnar had tested positive for the banned substance clomifene.
With the UFC unlikely to exercise this rule again, his return is reportedly being targeted for the middle of 2023. Several opponents have been rumoured to be in line to face McGregor in his next fight including Michael Chandler, Charles Oliviera and Justin Gaethje.
Multiple reports have claimed that when he does return to action it will be at welterweight due to the extra pounds, he has gained during his time out of competition. McGregor has fought at 170lb three times during his professional MMA career – twice against Nate Diaz in 2016 and then again versus Donald Cerrone four years later.