Morning Report: Michael Chandler adamant Conor McGregor ‘not stronger’ than him despite 185-pound request

Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler is seemingly set and will take place at a higher weight than anyone expected.

It’s a nice change of pace when you think about it. Instead of weight-cutting, perennial lightweight staples McGregor and Chandler will weight boost for their anticipated clash. The healthier, the better. In theory, anyway.

McGregor recently announced the fight to go down in the 185-pound middleweight division on June 29, which he also claimed to be International Fight Week 2024. The MMA world is still awaiting confirmation on the details of everything from the promotion, but Chandler has since supported the bout’s status. Receiving criticism for the weight specifically, “Iron” strongly counters any sentiments that the division change will make the fight “worse” — whether in his favor or in general.

“I don’t believe that size is an advantage,” Chandler said on his YouTube channel. “I would stay the same exact weight I am right now and I would just eat a little bit more and have the same camp so I can still get just as shredded as I looked like at 155, fighting at 185.

“He is not stronger than me. So, I don’t need to gain weight, I don’t need to gain any more strength, I don’t need to do any more than what I’m already doing. The dude is not stronger than me.”

The biggest story surrounding the matchup, and more so McGregor’s delayed return, has been his absence from the USADA testing pool and muscle gain during that time. As of the final day of 2023, USADA is no longer working with the UFC, however, and McGregor is worry-free despite submitting some samples in the final months of the partnership. UFC hasn’t completely abandoned drug testing though, as DFSI now oversees the fighters in that regard.

Speculation within the community, of course, ran rampant about McGregor’s potential workout routines during these past two and half years since he suffered a first-round TKO loss — and gruesome leg break — in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. Meanwhile, Chandler has also been inactive for over one year now, waiting patiently for McGregor’s return.

Although McGregor’s physical changes are the potential X-factor in the matchup, Chandler makes the comparison to UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones when he started his process of moving up from light heavyweight in 2020. “Bones” got heavily into weightlifting and shared his progress on social media during that time. In the case of McGregor, Chandler challenges anyone to find some similar proof of his strength improvements equivalent to his size increase.

“Have we seen pictures of him looking big? Absolutely,” Chandler said. “Did we see a couple pictures leaked from the Roadhouse [movie] and he looked huge with the big beard and all that kind of stuff? Of course. Is he bigger than he used to be? Absolutely.

“Now, he’s a natural 155-pounder. I’m a 155-pounder. We would just be fighting at 185. He’s not stronger than me. I would like anybody in the comments or anybody to tag me in videos of him lifting heavy weights. Go out there and show me a video of Conor McGregor lifting heavy, heavy weights. I actually looked before I got on this video, you can’t find any videos of this man lifting heavy, heavy weights.”

Strength hasn’t been difficult to display for either McGregor or Chandler throughout their careers, specifically in the form of knockouts. All four of Chandler’s victories that date back to a December 2018 unanimous decision over Brent Primus have come via strikes, bleeding over from his time in Bellator to the UFC. 2-3 inside the Octagon (23-8 overall, 11 KOs), Chandler, 37, has been a kill-or-be-killed fighter except for his unanimous decision loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 in November 2021. He last fought when at UFC 281 in November 2022 and lost via third-round rear-naked choke to Dustin Poirier.

McGregor, 35, historically rose to fame with his witty verbal skills, but backed it up with knockouts, having only won via decision twice out of his 10 UFC victories (10-4 in UFC, 22-6 overall). The stats, plus the weight, still aren’t enough to concern the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion Chandler.

“He’s not stronger than me, I hit harder than he does, I’m not worried about size in this fight, because he and I are relatively within three to five pounds of each other,” Chandler said. “So, if you think I’m going up to 210 to cut down to 185, it ain’t gonna happen. I’m gonna be the same guy, foot on the gas, trying to end the fight at every single moment, and ultimately end his reign as the Conor McGregor that we — a lot of people have lost faith in, but there’s still a lot of believers that want to see his comeback. I will go ahead and sour the night on June 29.”

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UFC Vegas 84 Post Show.

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UFC 297 Countdown.

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Road to UFC 297: Dricus Du Plessis.

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ONE Highlights from this past weekend.

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Almighty fight week.

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Throwback debuts.

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Justice for Kanako.

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CCC Training Camp.

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A glamorous Spaniard.

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Karate KOs.

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Hunting with Bo.

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Stamp at sea.






Back in action.

Birthday boy.


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UFC should have Conor and Chandler do one of those sport-off competitions where they just do a random sport against each other every week until they fight. Let’s just get as silly with this thing as possible.

Thanks for reading!

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 70% of 371 total votes answered « No » when asked, « Will Ilia Topuria vs. Sean O’Malley ever happen?« 

Thursday: 86% of 436 total votes answered « Yes » when asked, « Will Justin Gaethje be Islam Makhachev’s next opponent?« 

Wednesday: 81% of 471 total votes answered « No » when asked, « Will Michael ‘Venom’ Page ever challenge for UFC gold?« 

Tuesday: 51% of 370 total votes answered « Magomed Ankalaev and Manel Kape » when asked, « Who wins this weekend? » Kape’s rematch with Matheus Nicolau was canceled after Kape missed weight by 3.5 pounds. Ankalaev defeated Johnny Walker via second-round TKO (punches) at 2:42 in UFC Vegas 84’s main event.

Monday: 59% of 348 total votes answered « Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan » when asked, « Which big upcoming lightweight contender bout are you looking forward to more?« 

Today’s exit poll:


Does the idea of Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler make a matchup between the two better or worse than it would be at light or welterweight?

  • 100%


    (3 votes)

  • 0%


    (0 votes)

3 votes total Vote Now

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