- Michael Chandler discussed a potential TUF matchup against Conor McGregor
- “Iron” is open to fighting “The Notorious” even at 170
Michael Chandler just laughed off Tony Ferguson’s claim that he will be coaching at The Ultimate Fighter against Conor McGregor and said it’s a no-brainer that he’s more deserving to face “The Notorious.”
Mike wants in
Speaking to Bisping and Smith’s BYM podcast, Chandler said Ferguson was just trying to make himself relevant again by throwing his name alongside McGregor. But seriously speaking, “Iron” is “down” to coach a TUF squad against the Irish MMA superstar and have an epic clash in the finale.
“That was definitely just a tweet. I know for sure that was definitely just a tweet thrown out there to see if it gained any attraction…Obviously, everybody knows I would be down, me Conor on TUF whether it be four six weeks however long uh we will be filming that thing the tension the Rivalry the competition the trash talk um just the animosity that would be built up and then go into a training camp and then you know fight later on after the show. I want the fight everybody knows that the fans want to fight Dana has come gone public saying he wants that fight so the UFC wants to fight I’ve actually heard from numerous UFC people um that that’s the fight that a lot of people are talking about. Man huge fight!,” Chandler explained.
Chandler previously said a fight with McGregor will electrify the crowd right off the bat. And apparently, he’s sticking to his prediction.
“Can you imagine the first round…we go out there and then just two dudes trying to finish each other in the first round, massive!,” he continued.
170 is no problem
When asked about the idea of taking on McGregor at 170, given the fact that the former two-division champ looks way heavier than a lightweight, Chandler quickly said a fight at a higher weight class is definitely better.
As per “Iron,” even though he is not a natural 155er and he would even be more comfortable not depleting and face McGregor at 170.
“Absolutely! I mean I’ve I actually have told myself and you could go down to Florida and uh talk to my team and I’m like man if I win this fight I’m never fight 155 again like I mean I’m I’m walking around almost 190 right now I mean I’m not uh and I stay lean I stay lean because I’m always training and I got my walk-on Fitness um fitness app that I’ve created that I’m coming out with new programs so I’m constantly over here filming stuff and training and I’m always in the gym so I’m not getting fluffy or fat and I’m always around that 185 to 190 clip so I mean 170 for me would be a dream come true I don’t I don’t like making 155. the only reason I can make one five 155 is just good old-fashioned 12 weeks of diet exercise discipline and a little bit of dehydration at the end so why not do 170. I think Connor and I still think I’m bigger than Conor at this point even even with his uh his regimen that he’s been on,” Chandler assessed.
Conor coaching TUF? 👀
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) January 26, 2023
Bellator is good but UFC is better
As for why he chose to UFC over Bellator, Chandler broke it down to two different reasons, implying almost the same conclusion – the UFC is bigger than Bellator across the board.
“I just enjoy it better [in the UFC], it doesn’t mean they [Bellator] were bad and the UFC is you know good but the level of recognition is just absolutely astronomical compared to Bellator. And not to mention the fact that you’re I put I have always poured my heart and soul into every single fight whether I was fighting a guy that y’all have never heard of or I’m fighting Vincent Henderson or Eddie Alvarez one of these guys you had heard of back then I’d show up to my fight and they’re sending like the second string and third string media people from MMA Junkie and all these other people I’m like ‘Oh where’s Ariel [Helwani]?’… And these were bigger fights I was always in the big fights of Bellator but that was the number one thing,” Chandler explained.
“Number two I do think there’s obviously I do think there’s a level of competition that is just different it truly is. From a business side of thing or an organization side of things I mean the UFC has ran like a true Sports organization, Fortune 500 company, not a skeleton crew where one guy is handling Medicals and travel and he’s fighter operations. I mean there’s departments, there’s a travel Department that’s bigger than the entire Bellator staff…That’s nothing against them it’s just, that’s the way that they run their business and for me it was time to go test the waters and it’s worked out pretty darn well so far,” he pointed out.
Chandler left Bellator a champion, having knocked out Benson Henderson in their rematch at Bellator 243 in 2020. He joined the UFC the following year and went 2-3 under the promotion’s banner in a stretch that includes a title fight loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 262.
McGregor is still Chandler’s top priority as he eyes putting himself back in the win column after a submission loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 281.