Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor, who has stayed out of the fighting events since last 15 months, has confirmed his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the 'first quarter' of the 2023 despite not being enrolled in the promotion's drug-testing programme, USADA.

McGregor suffered a gruesome leg injury during his second successive defeat against Dustin Poirier in July 2021 and hasn't stepped in the octagon since then. The 34-year-old fighter expected to return this year but suffered a major setback and postponed his much-awaited return to the UFC.

Conor revealed during an Instagram live session that he is eyeing a return to the octagon in early 2023. He said,  "I'm going to be back soon, hopefully. Early 2023, I'm aiming for. Sometime in the first quarter. That will give me a good couple of months. Once I wrap this in a couple of days and get the camp going... good couple of months and get going."

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After the last weekend's UFC 280, President Dana White confirmed McGregor is not currently enrolled in the United States Anti-Doping testing pool and  needs to undergo six months of testing to compete again, the USADA also confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday.

Earlier, the Irishman confirmed to return at the UFC in welterweight category after gaining some weight. The welterweight division include fighters like, champion Leon Edwards, contender Kamaru Usman, Khamzat  Chimaev and Colby Covington.

Due to his injury and a huge-break from the fighting events, McGregor pursued other passion as he will be featuring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchior, and Billy Magnussen in an upcoming film, which is the remake of the 1980s film "Road House".