Despite continually making his case for a fight with Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler feels there’s a need for the community to give the Irishman a break.
Since entering the UFC in January 2021, Chandler has become one of the better post-fight promos in all of MMA. It certainly helps to score the types of finishes he has had thus far, but Chandler is self-aware of his timeline and where he stands in the division following results. So, after this last time out, why not McGregor next?
At UFC 274 this past May, the three-time Bellator lightweight titleholder pulled off one of the best knockouts the world has ever seen, finishing Tony Ferguson with a sickening front kick to the chin just seconds into Round 2. Afterward, “Iron” took to the microphone to call for his shot at the ailing former dual-division UFC champ.
McGregor has been sidelined for over a full year now dating back to his July 2021 trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier. In the waning seconds of the opening round, “Notorious” suffered a nasty broken leg that resulted in the fight ending moments later. Making progress on the road to recovery, McGregor appears to be trending toward a return in late 2022, but it’s still difficult to assess exactly when he will be ready.
“You’ve seen my handling of Conor,” Chandler said on Food Truck Diaries. “At some point, do I want to fight the guy? Of course, but we do gotta cut Conor a little bit of slack. He broke his leg in half and everybody’s calling him names, everybody’s calling him out and doing all this stuff, everybody wants the fight. Also at the same time, let the guy recover. The sport of mixed martial arts, and especially the lightweight division, is better when Conor McGregor is part of it. But he needs to come back at the right time and not rush it. He snapped his leg in half.
“So, you got him out and if you’re talking about Charles [Oliveira] who wants a big money fight, he’s minced no words, he wants the big money fight, he thinks he deserves it and I’m like, that’s cool, do that. You deserve it. But when’s he coming back?”
Chandler and the most recent 155-pound champion, Charles Oliveira, have been the most vocal in recent months about their interest in facing McGregor. As Chandler highlighted, it’s still a waiting game as the show must go on.
While Chandler looks to be heading toward a potential date with the aforementioned Poirier, Oliveira is set to battle once again for the division’s vacant title as he did against Chandler in May 2021. At UFC 280 on Oct. 22, Oliveira faces Islam Makhachev to decide the best lightweight in the world.
“Islam’s good but what Islam has is the wrestling and I think I negate his wrestling,” Chandler said. “I do think [he’d be forced to stand with me], I do think so. He’s a southpaw, not a power guy, and I just have an ability to get in your face and make guys who are normally in-your-face type of guys get on their back foot, a la the Justin Gaethje fight. I make it ugly.”
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Well, that’s not right…
Missouri needs all the help it can get.
It’s like it was meant to be.
Kai and the other Joe B.
And the nominees are…
Getting in best shape ever . I done a lot of testing and learned a lot about my body . A strong run coming next year !
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) July 28, 2022
Hey, she tried.
Sweetest man on the planet.
The most FLW boring fight ever
— マネル・ケイプ Manel Kape (@ManelKape) July 29, 2022
Josh Hill (21-4) vs. Marcos Breno (5-1); Bellator 284, Aug. 12
Youssef Zalal (10-5) vs. Cristian Quiñonez (16-3); UFC San Diego, Aug. 13
Matheus Scheffel (9-4) vs. Denis Goltsov (29-7); 2022 PFL 8, Aug. 13
I really don’t care who Chandler faces next, I just love watching him do his thing. With that said, Poirier definitely makes the most sense and I don’t really know if it’s even debatable.
Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend, and thanks as always for reading!
Will Conor McGregor return in 2022?
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