Matt Brown warns Michael Chandler that beating Conor McGregor now doesn’t mean much: ‘I don’t even think we’d be impressed’

Conor McGregor insists he’s ready to return to action, but communication with the UFC has broken down in recent months with no word on when he’ll fight again.

Meanwhile, Michael Chandler continues to wait for the fight after he signed to welcome McGregor back to the octagon. He’s made it clear he’s not planning to fight anybody until McGregor returns.

Chandler’s two-year anniversary of inactivity is approaching in November.

UFC welterweight Matt Brown understands why Chandler is waiting, because fighting McGregor gives him the chance to cash a huge paycheck by fighting the biggest draw in the history of the sport. As much as the fight might add a few zeroes to his bank account, Brown cautions Chandler that outside of the financial windfall, beating McGregor in 2024 — or whenever they actually fight — won’t really mean that much in the grand scheme of things.

“Michael Chandler’s been waiting for the red panty night for [two] years,” Brown said on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. “If Conor came back, fought him and Chandler won, how much of a star would that make him? Chandler’s already a pretty good star but I guess the name power would be pretty good, pretty solid but would anybody even really care?

“When Nate [Diaz] did it, it was special. We thought Conor was the man and Nate did it coming in on what f****** two weeks’ notice? That was amazing. But if Chandler did it, I don’t even think we’d be impressed. OK, you beat a dude that’s been doing movies and drinking and partying for three years.”

It seems like a lifetime ago when Conor McGregor demolished Eddie Alvarez to become the first ever simultaneous two-division champion in the UFC. Since that night eight years ago, the now 35-year-old Irish superstar has only competed four times in the UFC, amassing a 1-3 record and suffering a gruesome broken leg in his previous outing that kept him sidelined for nearly three years.

In some ways, Brown equates Chandler beating McGregor to Jake Paul’s upcoming fight against former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.

“It might happen with Jake Paul,” Brown said. “He goes out and beats Mike Tyson, he’s getting that name power, but you’re beating a f****** 57-year-old man. Get out of here.”

Because McGregor appears to be on the backside of his career – his 36th birthday is in July – Brown questions whether his name power alone makes a fight intriguing.

Chandler has bet nearly two years of his career on the fact that beating McGregor still means a lot.

“I think even if he fights Conor, even if he beats Conor, I just wonder if it’s going to be the lottery ticket that it would have been a few years ago,” Brown said. “I don’t know. I’m still learning towards Conor never fighting again.

“When [Conor] says things like [he’s anxious to return], it gives me a little bit of [hope], not 100 percent, now it’s like 90 percent he’s not fighting again. I don’t know. It’s just lost so much interest. I know after this movie, he comes back and fights, the mainstream would have a lot of interest in it. Everybody’s going to watch it but if you go beat him it’s like what did you do? I just don’t feel like anybody would be that impressed.”

A lot has changed in McGregor’s absence, with a slew of new fighters emerging as top contenders. So even if he beats Chandler, the path back to the top of any division isn’t an easy road to travel.

Brown believes McGregor will struggle to topple most athletes currently in the top 15 rankings at either lightweight or welterweight, which is where he’s most likely to compete when he returns.

“I would pick [Benoit Saint Denis], I would pick Drew Dober to beat him,” Brown said. “[Renato] Moicano I think would beat him easy — maybe not easy, but I think it would be a good matchup for Moicano. Moicano, he’s that guy that on the right night, he could beat anybody in the division. I think he could be a champion on the right night. He seems to have off nights, too.

“He’s in a killer division. 155 and 170. You’ve got a f****** murderer’s row up there. Even at 170, like Neil Magny would beat him. Neil’s what [ranked] 14 or 15?”

That said, Brown hopes that McGregor takes his return to action seriously and puts his considerable resources into transforming himself back into the same fighter who once ranked among the pound-for-pound best in the sport. He’s not betting on that happening, but there’s a world where he could see McGregor coming back with a vengeance.

“If Conor takes it serious, Conor gets healthy, stays off the fun stuff, isn’t drinking or partying or doing whatever he’s putting in his body and he takes it serious, I think all this talk goes out the window,” Brown said. “He still has the talent to beat just about anybody in those divisions. I just don’t see him taking it seriously.

“We don’t even know what to believe with what he says. He says all kinds of crazy stuff but if he is still training to some extent, even if in and out, and keeping at least a little bit sharp, he is that guy. He could come back and surprise everybody, look amazing, pull off another Eddie Alvarez moment. He’s a f****** athlete. He’s a great fighter, great eyes, great reactions, so he could just surprise everybody, too. Surprise us by even fighting again in the comeback and look great. I kind of hope that’s what he does, but I don’t think he will.”

Listen to new episodes of The Fighter vs. The Writer every Tuesday with audio only versions of the podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio