UFC Hall of Famer Rashad Evans recently gave his take on the upcoming bout between former “champ-champ” Conor McGregor and top lightweight contender Michael Chandler. “Suga” Rashad trains in the same facility as Chandler and made his prediction based on what he’s seen in the gym.
In a nutshell, Evans sees a win for “Iron” Mike, but also mentioned the one thing that “The Notorious” needs to do to pick up a win in his return fight after a two-year layoff.
UFC Hall of Famer names Conor McGregor’s key to victory
The 43-year-old Evans was asked about the McGregor-Chandler fight in a recent UFC Live Show on ESPN+. One of the first things he touched on was the one key to victory for the Irishman.
“The reps are always good, but let’s be honest here: It’s not about the reps as much as it’s about the motivation at this point. I feel like he needs to be motivated, and I feel like having a fight that kind of scares you a little bit will wake you up, and you don’t wanna get embarrassed,” Evans said of McGregor (transcript by MMA Junkie).
For Evans, motivation should be the sole focus, which McGregor himself admitted to have dwindled.
“Those are the kinds of fights that he really needs to put his efforts into because he already knows how to fight. He’s not gonna re-learn how to fight, but the thing about this is he needs that motivation factor.”
Evans predicts a victory for Chandler
Meanwhile, Evans foresees a win for Chandler. According to him, the number five-ranked UFC lightweight contender has been bringing a different level of “intensity” to the training sessions.
“I’ve got to roll with Michael Chandler. Michael Chandler’s probably in the gym right now doing backflips with medicine balls. I mean, that’s just the kind of intensity that he’s bringing.
“He’s already in Kill Cliff right now training real hard, so I’ve got Chandler.”
UFC remains uncertain about the McGregor-Chandler timeline
While there are these predictions about how the fight ends, the organization itself has not made anything final. While UFC president Dana White assured that a fight will happen, he is still counting on his most prized fighter to fix his issue with USADA.
“There’s a fight,” said White during the UFC Vegas 74 post-fight scrum. “[McGregor] has to get into the USADA pool first. He’s filling out the paperwork.
“I don’t know how soon that will be done or what’s going on, but that’s his business that he’s handling with USADA. But it’s all in motion.”
From his end, however, McGregor already stated that his debacle with the UFC’s anti-doping partner is “done.”
“That’s, ehhh, that’s done, man. That’s done. By year end, I’m back in that cage, having competed. I’m clear, I’m there, I’m ready to go.
“Michael’s signed, yeah. It’ll be announced during the Ultimate Fighter. So, the Ultimate Fighter is airing now, in a couple of days, on ESPN. And, by the time that show finishes, we’ll have a date and everything set for the fans.”
McGregor (22-6) hasn’t returned to action since he broke his leg against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in 2021. Chandler (23-8) is also coming off a loss to Poirier, whom he fought at UFC 281 in November and was defeated via third-round submission.
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