Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is just 1-3 in the 155-pound division and his only victory over the last five years came against a mentally defeated Donald Cerrone at 170 pounds, so perhaps it’s not a surprise to learn “Notorious” opened as the betting underdog for a potential Michael Chandler fight.
There is no definitive timeline for McGregor’s comeback, thanks to a protracted healing process in the wake of this devastating injury, but there is talk of a late 2022 or early 2023 return. With these two contenders gunning for the next division title shot, we can probably dismiss any talk of McGregor fighting Charles Oliveira.
Chandler, 36, blasted his way back into the lightweight title conversation with a sensational knockout win over Tony Ferguson and is probably best suited for an end-of-year Mac attack. “Iron” is 2-2 in the lightweight division with three performance bonuses and would undoubtedly deliver another “Fight of the Night” performance.
Draft Kings pegged Chandler as the -155 betting favorite against +135 for McGregor, who is also the underdog (+525) in a potential welterweight title fight against reigning 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman (-700). The last time “Mystic Mac” was the underdog at 155 pounds (+175) was against Khabib Nurmagomedov (-245) at UFC 229.
“I’d have a nice knock off this guy, no doubt about it, a firework spectacle,” McGregor wrote on social media after Chandler defeated Ferguson. “I like the 170 shout also. Tipped him over. I’m definitely game to fight this guy at some stage in my career. I see it happening after tonight. Congrats on a solid win Michael and another barnstormer.”
McGregor, 33, continues to spam his social media feed with training videos to help fans get amped for his Octagon return. Since Chandler has already lost to Oliveira there is no rush to get the former Bellator MMA champ moved to the front of the lightweight line, though “Iron” can probably change that with a highlight-reel victory over “Notorious.”
See you in December?