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Morning Report: Michael Chandler makes his case for Conor McGregor: ‘Is there a bigger fight than me? I don’t think so’

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Michael Chandler thinks this is the only logical fight for Conor McGregor to return to MMA.

Since joining the UFC in 2020, Chandler has made no secret of his desire to fight McGregor in the octagon. After his first win over Dan Hooker at UFC 257, Chandler immediately informed McGregorand after knocking out Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, Chandler challenged “Notorious” again. None of those challenges worked for Chandler, but after his loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 281, Iron Mike believes there is no better fight for either of them.

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“I really think it’s a struggle,” Chandler said. ESPN. “When you talk about Conor McGregor being on the other side of this two person interaction that we need to get into, Conor has every opportunity on the planet at his disposal. Does he need to come back? Absolutely not. Does he want to come back? We do not know. It depends on Conor. If he really wants to come back, who else the hell do you want him to be on the other side of the octagon but me, right now, at this stage?

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“We’re the same size, we’re the same weight, maybe I am — it’s difficult because I don’t do self-promotion. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m the most interesting guy on the list. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m a guy who is a huge, huge pay-per-view player. It just doesn’t feel right because I am me and I’m in my little microcosm of Michael Chandler’s little life in Nashville, Tennessee. But when you look at it on the world stage, and you look at the reaction, and you look at the die-hards: “I don’t care who he fights, when he fights, where he fights, I tune in and buy PPV to fight Michael Chandler , these people come out of the tree. It’s crazy how much noise is around me, my fighting style, my fights, every time. UFC knows it, I think Conor knows it, Conor’s team knows it, the whole MMA world knows it.

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“So if he comes back, when he comes back, I will take some time to heal and make sure I take care of my family, take care of my body. I think the schedule works very, very well whenever he wants to come back. And tell me, who’s got a bigger draw or a bigger fight right now than me and Conor? The only thing is, I’m definitely not the type to fight lightly. If you look at the risk and reward of someone who is famous, but also “I have to go out and smash someone”, then there are easier fights than me. But is there a bigger fight than me? I do not think so. I really do not know.

The main hurdle for the Chandler-McGregor fight, aside from McGregor’s general fickleness, seems to be time. McGregor was out of action after breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier in July 2021 and according to Dana White, McGregor has left the USADA testing pool and will now need at least six months before he can compete again . That is, if McGregor wants to compete again at all. By selling a controlling stake in Proper 12, McGregor has solidified financially, and although he has repeatedly stated his intention to return, “Notorious” remains on the sidelines. But Chandler doesn’t believe he’ll stay there.

“I think Conor is different from what a lot of people think,” Chandler said. “People think that just because he has a couple hundred million in the bank and lives this crazy, wasteful lifestyle, he is no longer a competitor at heart who loves competition and loves to see other people who love competition. He is a purist at heart and I think he sees how I live, how I live in this sport, how I train, what I stand for, how I really wear my heart on my sleeve. , we have a different accent, but we talk a lot about the same thing. He might be a little more boastful, but we talk about the same thing in different ways, so I think he respects that. So I think there are so many ways to look at it and say that at this point it would be kind of disappointing and disappointing if it never happened.”

Of course, Chandler is far from the only one to berate McGregor. It seems like every 145- to 170-pound fighter has mentioned the former bi-division champion at one time or another, and very few fighters would pass up the opportunity to fight the biggest star in the sport if offered. Chandler admits that financial incentives play a role in his challenge, but he says it’s more than just money, it creates the biggest spectacle and he believes that together they can put on something extraordinary.

“People will say I’m chasing Red Panty Night and I’m chasing payday and yes that’s part of it, it will always be part of the conversation people talk about when you fight Conor. McGregor, but I want the battlefields to be epic,” Chandler said. “I want the brightest light. I need the biggest platforms. I want to go there on the verge of a heart attack, because the moment is so important. And what could be more important than a fight with Conor McGregor? And at this point, when he returns, what could be more important than Conor McGregor stepping into the octagon, with whom I should be the most electrified man in the UFC right now? … This is the biggest fight, this is the biggest PPV sales that can be done right now, at this stage, in the entire MMA world, I think Conor knows that, I think the UFC knows that and I think that will be International Fight Week 2023.”


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