Michael Chandler believes he can hold his own against Conor McGregor and not only when it comes to the fighting aspect.
Following his recent war with Justin Gaethje, Chandler called for a fight with McGregor to which the latter was reciprocative to. Later on, Chandler event went to McGregor’s defense, labeling anyone who discredited him for his recent losses as casuals or haters.
For most observers, it was just Chandler’s way of sucking up to the Irishman and hoping he’s the one who gets to fight him next for a lucrative payday.
Chandler can certainly be confident of his chances after McGregor recently praised him on social media.
“Hard not to be impressed,” McGregor wrote. “In a game of inches he has been incredibly close each time! Could well be today’s champion.”
So what did Chandler think of the praise?
“For me, obviously, as an athlete, the number one goal is to be the UFC champion, I want to be the number one guy in the world. But as fighters, we get into the sport because we want big stages, big opportunities against big opponents in big arenas and it doesn’t get bigger than Conor McGregor,” Chandler told Daniel Cormier recently. “I think what you’re seeing there is mutual respect. For him to say he was impressed by my performances. For him to say I could very well be the champion and still saying this is a game of inches and we can all be caught…
“I think there’s a mutual respect there. To me, that’s genuine — that’s how I like to do things, I’m not a trash talk guy.”
Michael Chandler: I Can Handle McGregor Trash Talk
Of course, not being a trash talk guy doesn’t really work well against McGregor. And while things are all rosy between them now, if a fight were to be booked, it wouldn’t be surprising to see McGregor go on the offensive as far as mind games.
With that said, Chandler believes he can handle McGregor’s trash talk as he has a way with words himself.
“I guess if the fight happens, I guess we’ll see,” Chandler responded when asked how he’d deal with the trash talk. “You might see a different side of me but chances are, I think I’m pretty good at using my vocabulary and linguistic jiu-jitsu to wrap up guys in words that they may not understand without really having to take to base level assaults or talking about different things that would be damaging to a guy’s reputation. We’ll see. I respect Conor for what he’s done, I respect him as a fighter and I even respect his trash talk game.
“It is something I’m looking forward to…He needs to heal up, I need to heal up. We’ll see if that fight happens. If it does, it’s definitely going to be fireworks inside the Octagon and I guarantee I can carry my weight outside the Octagon on the microphone.”
You can watch the full interview below: