clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Michael Chandler defends McGregor against the haters: ‘He’s a different level of competitor’

2021 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Michael Chandler is once again defending Conor McGregor against his haters.

Chandler, who has taken the UFC by storm since making his debut earlier this year, is coming off a Fight of the Year candidate against Justin Gaethje at UFC 268. The former Bellator MMA champion may have lost, but Chandler put forth one of the gutsiest performances you’ll ever see against one of the toughest contenders in the UFC’s lightweight division. Even in a loss Chandler gained an insane amount of respect from fighters and fans alike.

With his new found stardom Chandler is once again hoping to land a fight with McGregor sometime in 2022. Chandler has always paid respect to “Notorious” and acknowledged the impact he has had on the sport of MMA and would love nothing more than to test his abilities against the former UFC champion.

During a recent appearance on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast, Chandler discussed a potential clash with McGregor. Not only did Chandler credit McGregor for an unflappable mental game, but he also expressed his disdain for anyone who thinks “Notorious” is not a different level of competitor.

“That left hand can put anybody out on the entire planet,” said Chandler. “I think my right hand can put anybody out on the the entire planet, so I think it’s a perfect fight. It’s a different approach when you’re fighting a guy like Conor because fighting a guy like Gaethje, who loves to brawl, is much easier than a guy who you’re really afraid to sometimes throw a punch at because of the shot that you don’t see coming as you’re pulling your hand back. So, you definitely got to be on your Ps and Qs with the striking. But then the coolest thing about Conor, too, is everybody always talks about how bad of a wrestler he is, how bad of a grappler he is.

“Chad Mendes took him down a couple times. He got taken down a couple times in the second (Nate) Diaz fight. He got taken down numerous times in other fights, and he has always kept his composure. His mental awareness capacity and stability inside of the octagon, inside the confines of competition, especially with how heightened the stakes and the senses are inside of his fights while everybody in the entire world is watching, is something to behold, man. He’s a different level of competitor, and anybody who discredits him because he’s lost fights is just either a casual or a Conor hater, to be honest with you.”

McGregor, who is currently rehabbing an injured leg suffered at the hands of Dustin Poirier this past July, has already made it known that he wants a title shot in his return. That would essentially put a matchup with Chandler on hold, but it’s a fight that could still happen down the line. And considering the way Chandler has been fighting it could turn out to be one of the craziest first rounds of all time.