Since joining the UFC in 2021, Michael Chandler has been eager for a highly anticipated matchup with Conor McGregor. Chandler’s UFC career has been action-packed. He has come closer than ever to realizing his dream of fighting McGregor. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the fight.
Both former lightweight champions are currently serving as coaches on season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). As they are expected to fight each other at the end of the season, as is customary on the reality TV show. Unfortunately, McGregor suffered a severe leg injury in his last fight against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. Which has sidelined him and caused him to exit the USADA testing pool. McGregor will need to undergo six months of testing before he is eligible to compete again. With the closing window for his return in 2023, many are skeptical if the fight will happen at all.
Chandler remains optimistic and believes McGregor will come back to the octagon. He doesn’t think McGregor wants to tarnish his legacy by abandoning the path of fighting Chandler after promoting their matchup on The Ultimate Fighter. Chandler acknowledges the USADA countdown and the possibility of exemptions, but ultimately, the decision is not in his hands. Regardless, Chandler is focused on what he can control and believes he will face McGregor within the next six months. He anticipates their fight to be one of the biggest pay-per-view events ever and confidently predicts a knockout victory within the first two rounds.
Interestingly, Chandler has already faced Poirier in the octagon, with their fight taking place in November. Poirier emerged victorious with a third-round rear-naked choke.