Michael Chandler is in for the biggest fight of his life when he takes on Conor McGregor.
After countless call-outs of the UFC’s biggest star, the #5 lightweight contender has not only secured a fight with McGregor but also a spot on the next ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season with the both of them confirmed as opposing coaches.
Chandler On Getting The Fight
To Chandler, this is simply a dream come true. ‘Iron’ hasn’t always been in the running for a ‘money fight’ with McGregor as he was a champion over at Bellator for years. But, one call-up to the UFC and two years into the promotion would get him the opportunity he so craved.
“I remember being on the outside looking in and always seeing these huge stages and huge opportunities and huge things that I felt like were passing me by… I’m very happy with my career and I’m very happy with the road that I took,” Chandler said on The MMA Hour. “I’m very happy with the patience that I showed the [strategy] that myself and my management kind of put ourselves through every single big decision that we had to make.
“But it is very fitting and I think ironic that the Conor McGregor, who came into the UFC and was constantly talking about what was going on up in his mind and how he manifested things, how he saw things, how he willed things into existence. Now we see the Conor that we see today and who he is today. And he made all that stuff happen for himself from welfare plumber to who Conor McGregor is now.”
“I truly believe I’ve seen this, not exactly this happening, but stages like this happening, platforms like this happening and notoriety like this happening and blessings like this happening since I wasn’t even signed with the organization. It’s a very powerful position to be on the outside looking in, getting to study the way the industry works, the way organizations operate, the way fighters operate, the way just everything, the puzzle pieces get connected.”
‘The Biggest Pay-Per-View That We’ve Ever Seen’
If you know Conor McGregor, you know he’s a massive pay-per-view star. The former UFC double-champ is responsible for giant PPV numbers in the company, headlining the six most-bought events in UFC history.
Chandler may not have the same accolades as ‘The Notorious’, but boy, can he sell a fight. Chandler believes the animosity between him and McGregor will break PPV records.
“This is the biggest stage, biggest platform, biggest opportunity I ever could have asked for in every single aspect of it. Not to mention, that’s just catching the lightning into the bottle called the Conor McGregor fight, with just the massive platform that it is. When everybody talks about the red panty night and the big money fight and all that kind of stuff. The money is great too, but the opportunity to be in something that everybody cares about is what I want.
“A platform where all the eyeballs are watching, everybody is tuning in, everybody is buying the pay-per-view for that night, that moment, that opportunity. You couple that with the opportunity to be on ESPN, the network for month and a half, two months, every Tuesday night or whatever it’s gonna be. People are gonna be tuning in and the tension is gonna be palpable. The build-up and lead-up to this thing could be the biggest pay-per-view that we’ve ever seen.”
Chandler’s PPV Prediction
Chandler thinks his fight with McGregor will do at least 2 million buys worldwide. He will need more than 2.4M buys if he wants to surpass UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor as the biggest pay-per-view in UFC history.
“I am a wishful thinker. I have confident expectancy for myself to show up and build this thing. Connor knows how to build things. So we’re about to have a blast… Traditionally you look at the numbers. I think 2 million is not just a possibility. I think it’s very, very achievable and very attainable.
“I think what I’ve created is this level of intrigue and mystique that when I show up on fight night and that cage door closes, all hell breaks loose and my foot is on the gas,” Chandler added. “I haven’t seen a brake pedal at all since I signed with the organization, honestly, since I started fighting. It’s just continued to build and build and build. So you look at why this fight got made, Conor knows he’s gonna do big numbers. The UFC knows it’s going to be a massive fight. And can we tip our hat to Conor McGregor? I am not the easiest fight for him to come back against after two years.”