Michael Chandler: ‘Romantic’ Conor McGregor will fight me in 2023

Michael Chandler has some assurance that the Conor McGregor fight will happen this year.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 weeks ago
Michael Chandler: ‘Romantic’ Conor McGregor will fight me in 2023
Michael Chandler has a good reason to believe that the Conor McGregor fight will happen in 2023. IMAGO

There remains uncertainty about Conor McGregor’s UFC return. “The Notorious” had just wrapped up filming of the 31st Ultimate Fighter season, where he coached a team against top lightweight contender Michael Chandler

McGregor and Chandler are expected to face each other after the season airs, but at this point, nothing has been finalized. Chandler, however, only has good reasons to believe that the fight will happen sometime in the year. 

Conor McGregor the prizefighting “romantic” 

Chandler recently spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and was asked about the McGregor fight. He has no doubts that it will happen, despite the belief that the Irishman may have lost his desire to compete because of his net worth. 

“I think Conor, to his core, really is romantic about combat sports or the sport of mixed martial arts,” Chandler said. “He really is. He loves it. And, I think, he’s got an ego the size of Texas. 

“So I think he needs to get back in there and continue to feel that rush. Feel the crowd acting like he’s a god for those 15 minutes, 25 minutes, whatever it may be.” 

A “huge stain” on Conor McGregor’s legacy

Chandler also believes that the failure to make their fight happen would hurt McGregor’s legacy as a fighter in the long run. 

“I think he’s coming back. It sure would be a huge stain on his legacy, leading everybody down a road, making people think that he’s coming back, and then kind of chickening out at the very end, only doing it for the publicity. 

“That, to me, screams insecurity and trying to stay relevant rather than seeing through your commitment. 

“I could be very wrong about it, and if I am, I would be surprised and quite frankly, disappointed. But also, I’m not gonna sit here, blow up my manager, blow up Dana and Hunter and just calling them all the time. ‘Hey, where are we getting something done?’” 

Everything is still up in the air at this point, but Chandler has a timeframe in mind. 

“Ultimately, all I gotta do is leave it up to how it’s supposed to happen and at this point, I’m believing we’re going to fight later on this fall. Maybe winter, at the latest. We’ll see what happens.”

UFC gives an update on McGregor vs. Chandler

UFC president Dana White recently spoke with Barstool’s Robbie Fox to give an update on how things are coming along with the McGregor-Chandler fight. No dates and important details were given, but he revealed that the former champ-champ is already in the process of trimming down. 

“I actually saw a picture of Conor today where he actually looked leaner like he’s starting to cut the weight down… we’ll see. This guy is going through a ton of shit with his body after breaking his shin bone.

“Believe me, as soon as we can get it done, we’ll get it done.”

For now, McGregor fans will just have to tune into to TUF 31, which premieres on May 30th on ESPN+.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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