Aljamain Sterling Believes Conor McGregor’s Best Shot at a Win is Against Michael Chandler

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling wants to see Conor McGregor meet Michael Chandler in his return to the Octagon

Conor McGregor
Courtesy of @mma_orbit and @YahooSports on Twitter

With Conor McGregor expected to make his highly anticipated return to the Octagon in 2023, fans, analysts, and fellow fighters are all weighing in on who they believe should welcome ‘The Notorious’ back to the cage. 

Reigning UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is the latest fighter to chime in on which fighter should win the Conor McGregor lottery when, and if, the Irish superstar makes his first walk to the cage after nearly two years away from the competition. Manny names have been thrown around, but ‘Funk Master’ believes that a fight between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler would be both exciting and perhaps the best chance for McGregor to get back into the win column for the first time since his 2020 showdown with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. 

“Conor hasn’t beaten anybody at 155 other than Eddie Alvarez,” Sterling said on The Weekly Scraps Podcast. “He beat ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at 170. ‘Cowboy’ just came off of a fight and honestly, it looked like ‘Cowboy’ had a lot of things going on in his personal life. Granted, you make the walk and step into the cage, that is on you. Nobody’s going to make excuses for you, but from a fighter analyst position, why did he get through him like that when ‘Cowboy’ had these fights which were crazy against Al Iaquinta, Tony Ferguson, and all these other guys? How’d he have wars with those guys and then he goes and fights Conor and it goes like that.

“You’ve gotta kinda look at it like, what was the difference? What was the deciding factor? That’s what helps me to analyze and break down opponents and that’s why I think Conor would do a lot better with (Michael) Chandler because he hasn’t beaten anyone at 155 outside of Eddie Alvarez.”

Conor McGregor captured the 155-pound title by defeating Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016. ‘The Notorious’ never once defended the title, instead opting to compete against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in the squared circle. McGregor was stripped of both the featherweight and lightweight titles as a result.

Is Michael Chandler’s Reckless Style the Perfect Opportunity For Conor McGregor to Get a W?

‘Iron’ Michael Chandler has been setting the MMA world on fire with a series of edge-of-your-seat performances inside the Octagon. Unfortunately, Chandler’s high-octane style of fighting has rarely resulted in a win. Chandler scored a massive first-round knockout of Dan Hooker in his UFC debut but has since dropped three out of four. Rarely playing to his strengths, Chandler has been content to go down swinging which could make him the best high-profile matchup for a desperate-to-win McGregor. 

“Chandler has shown time and time again that he has the ability and the physical skillset to do all of these great things, but every time he competes, he does things that doesn’t make any sense to the outside viewer. Even as an athlete, I go, ‘Chandler, you have two [hands] and two legs, but you don’t use your legs. You only use your hands. You have this crazy pedigree of wrestling, you don’t use it. And when you do use it, you do something you know doesn’t make sense.’ Let me do a high-amplitude slam on Dustin Poirier and get reversed. 

“Dustin Poirier is the man. He’s beaten how many of these guys? Chandler on the other hand, he has all these… He could have taken down Poirier and just chilled in the guard. Maybe thrown a couple punches. Make it a boring fight. I’m not saying that’s the way he should have went out there and fought, but there’s a path to victory for him and he almost never uses it because he’d rather be known for entertainment.”

Published on January 30, 2023 at 6:30 pm
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