After months of cutting promos for himself, Michael Chandler is getting what he’s been asking for. The former two-time Bellator champion not only gets to fight Conor McGregor sometime in 2023, but he also gets to coach against “The Notorious” in the upcoming 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Chandler went on Monday’s MMA Hour episode to talk about the McGregor fight, which has yet to have a final date. But he is already expecting massive PPV returns.
“If you look at the numbers, I think 2 million [buys], it’s not just a possibility, I think it’s very achievable and very attainable.”
Since entering the UFC in 2021, Chandler has put on noteworthy bouts. Four out of his five Octagon appearances have earned him post-fight bonuses, and he is banking on his performances to bring in the viewers.
“It’s hard for me to toot my own horn, but I think what I’ve created is a level of intrigue and mystique that when I show up on fight night and that cage door closes, all hell breaks loose and my foot is on the gas. I haven’t seen a brake pedal at all since I signed with the organization. Honestly, since I started fighting.
“It’s just continued to build and build and build. So you look at why this fight got made, Conor knows it’s going to do big numbers.”
For the 36-year-old Chandler, the TUF exposure is more than enough to drum up interest for when he fights McGregor after the season ends.
“Everybody is tuning in. Everybody is buying the pay-per-view for that night, that moment, that opportunity, and you couple that with the opportunity to be on ESPN the network for a month and a half, two months, every Tuesday night or whatever it’s going to be — people are going to be tuning in and the tension’s going to be palpable and the buildup and leadup to this thing, could be the biggest pay-per-view that we’ve ever seen.
“Obviously, I am a wishful thinker. I have a confident expectancy for myself to show up and build this thing. Conor knows how to build things. So we’re about to have a blast.”
Chandler (23-8) is currently 2-3 in the UFC. He last saw action at UFC 281 in November against Dustin Poirier, where he lost via third-round submission. He did, however, earn a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.
McGregor, meanwhile, hasn’t seen action since his first-round leg-break TKO during the Poirier trilogy at UFC 264 in July 2021.
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