Michael Chandler still wants his chance at Conor McGregor and he thinks it’s just a matter of time before the stars align.
The Lightweight division is starting to find some clarity with two big match-ups recently announced for UFC 280 on Oct. 22, 2022. Atop the event will be the vacant title fight, featuring former champion, Charles Oliveira, who takes on surging top contender, Islam Makhachev.
Oliveira has made it very clear in recent months how he’d like a clash with another fellow former champion, McGregor, but with that off the table, Chandler now sees his chances of landing it all the better.
“I do think it opens the door if Conor’s coming back any time soon,” Chandler told TMZ Sports (h/t MMA Fighting). “I’m not booked right now. If Conor’s coming back anytime soon, I think me and Conor would make some fireworks and I think it’s the fight fans want to see. I think it’s the biggest fight that we can make in mixed martial arts right now and I try to say that as humbly as possible, but I think it’s a huge fight.”
Unfortunately for Chandler, there’s still not much certainty regarding when “The Notorious” may be ready to return. It’s been a whole year now since McGregor suffered a nasty broken leg injury in his trilogy bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021 (watch highlights).
“I think if Conor came out tomorrow, or his management or his doctor, came out tomorrow and said Conor will definitely be back January for sure, and then subsequently he comes out and says he wants to fight me, I’ll definitely wait until January or February,” Chandler said. “But at this point, if he’s not coming back and there’s no guarantee that that fight is happening to put those pieces of the puzzle together, to make sure those two stars align, at the right time at the right place, I would probably have to move on. But I think me and Conor happens no matter what, eventually. It’s going to happen down the line.”
Among readily available options, the aforementioned Poirier seems like the most logical for the former three-time Bellator champion. However, despite their recent altercation in the crowd of UFC 276 earlier this month (July 2, 2022), Chandler still isn’t finding much interest in going toe-to-toe with Poirier.
“I’m not here for internet beefs,” Chandler said. “I did say I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time, and I’m going to have a good time, but man that Justin Gaethje fight is going to be there forever. That Poirier fight is going to be there forever.”