Michael Chandler is confident that Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon before the end of 2023.
From the very moment that UFC President Dana White announced Chandler vs. McGregor, MMA fans have remained skeptical as to whether or not the fight would ever come to fruition. Much of that revolved around the Irishman’s non-stop partying, alleged PED usage, and his war of words with the United States Anti-Doping Agency regarding his return to the testing pool.
Fortunately, all of those things, with the exception of the partying, have been addressed as both McGregor and USADA confirmed his re-entry into the pool for a required six months of screening. With one hurdle down, Chandler is confident that everything else will fall into place. Speaking with former fighter turned analyst Din Thomas on MMA on SiriusXM, the former Bellator MMA champion addressed the recent skepticism and attempted to quell it by claiming that he is “nearly 100%” certain when it comes to Conor McGregor’s highly anticipated return.
“If you know Conor at all… If you’ve watched Conor. If you’ve followed him over the years, yeah, you could say he’s got all the money in the world,” Chandler said. “People say he’s always partying. People say all these different things. You know the industry. Guys are out doing their thing. They might be partying until the fight camp happens. So Conor’s not necessarily doing anything that he hasn’t normally been doing.”
“I think the likelihood of us fighting is near 100%.”
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) May 30, 2023
Michael Chandler Confirms November or December Are the Likeliest Dates for His Fight with Conor McGregor
Chandler believes that McGregor’s work on The Ultimate Fighter matched with the hype surrounding his recent Netflix documentary will be enough to get the Irishman hyped up and ready to make another big comeback before the year is out.
“Ultimately, I think this show is going to motivate him to want to come back,” Chandler continued. “His documentary [on Netflix] coming out. The comeback story. The dude’s coming back and fighting by the end of the year. We’ve talked about… Obviously not we. I have no inside information when it comes to the Novembers and Decembers, but we’ve heard Dana [White] on record saying,’ November/December.’
“I think it happens November or December. Obviously, historically November is New York. December is Vegas, but I think the likelihood of us fighting is near 100%. The dude’s coming back. There’s only one guy he can fight and should fight and that’s me and it’s gonna be a fun one.”
Conor McGregor has been absent from the Octagon after suffering a nasty leg break during his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier in July 2021. During his time away, ‘The Notorious’ had many fight fans convinced his days of competing were over as he withdrew himself from the USADA testing pool, an action usually reserved for those retiring from the sport. Of course, that didn’t stop the Irishman from calling out practically every fighter under the sun.
As we now know, Michael Chandler had the winning ticket for the Conor McGregor lottery, securing a high-profile clash with the former two-division world champion. Before mixing it up inside the Octagon, the two high-octane lightweights will compete against one another as coaches on the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter, premiering Tuesday, May 30.