Chandler wants to fight UFC’s biggest star in McGregor, but former two-weight champ unlikely to return to octagon until early 2023
Conor McGregor’s return to the UFC is likely delayed until early 2023, but Michael Chandler is still calling for a fight against the Irishman.
McGregor is on the verge of recovering from a broken tibia he suffered in his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier last July. The former two-weight champion is now able to comfortably use his compromised leg in training.
It was hoped that McGregor could have returned this summer or late fall, but it seems likely he will delay his return until next year. UFC boss Dana White likes the idea of McGregor Chandler and ‘Iron Mike’ relishes the chance to fight the biggest star in the sport.
“I just want the biggest stage possible against the biggest competitor the sport has ever seen,” Chandler told TMZ Sports. “We may never see another talent, another combat sports icon like Conor McGregor, not just until I retire, we’re talking about the next two decades.
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“Obviously there’s a lot of big fights that Conor could take, a lot of big names, but I’d love to be the other guy on the other side of the octagon when that cage door closes and then come out and do something special.”
Chandler produced a knockout of the year contender in his last fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May, stopping the former interim champion with a brutal second-round kick. After the win, an excited Chandler used his post-fight interview to call out McGregor.
McGregor answered the call, writing, “Fireworks. I like the 170 scream too. Knocked him down. Definitely up for a fight with this guy at some point in my career. I see it happening after tonight. Congratulations on a solid win Michael and another barnstormer.”
“I want him at his biggest, his meanest, his most dangerous. Looking at him, he looks big, he looks beefy, he looks strong, he looks as fast as he always is and at 180 pounds and something. Let’s do it at 170. If not, I can always do 155,” Chandler added.
McGregor bulked up to 190 pounds during his recovery after being mostly limited to weight training. ‘Notorious’ rejected a return to lightweight after being called out by Charles Oliviera, saying he didn’t want to go through the heavy weight cut after building on a lot of muscle.