Michael Chandler has called on Conor McGregor to come back to his first love of fighting.
This past Saturday, Chandler took on former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 281. He finally got the chance to get past his rivalry with Poirier inside the cage. Chandler got off to a solid start and had ‘Diamond’ hurt early, but Poirier recovered well and turned the tides in his favor by the end of the first round. Poirier secured his first submission win in over a decade when he tapped out Chandler in the third round of an instant classic.
Michael Chandler calls on Conor McGregor to return to fighting in a passionate message
At the UFC 281 post-fight press conference, Chandler issued a passionate statement to former two-division champion Conor McGregor, calling on him to get back into the United States Anti-Doping Agency drug testing pool in order to be eligible for his return to action.
“Get on it, man. We all know that fighting is his first love. Exactly six years ago today, November 12, 2016 he became the double champ and he apologized to absolutely nobody, and it was absolutely awesome.
“He’s a legend in the sport, he’s the biggest name in the sport. It was bad enough that we had to compete with Bentleys, Bugattis, boats and $100million whiskey companies. Now we’ve got to compete with the silver screens and bright lights of Hollywood. But come back to your first love Conor. Step inside that octagon with me.”
Chandler says a fight with McGregor would do staggering numbers
McGregor recently wrapped up shooting for his Hollywood debut in the upcoming remake of the 1989 cult classic film Road House. He has expressed interest in potentially competing against ‘Iron’ Mike, who has been rallying for a shot at the Irish icon. Chandler reiterated his stance arguing the matchup would draw blockbuster numbers.
“At this point, if he comes back and looks at the suitors, I don’t think I’m the easiest fight that he could take. But I do think I am the biggest fight that he could take. I think Conor McGregor stepping back in the octagon does big numbers no matter what. But he and I step inside the octagon, we do staggering numbers. I respect him, I would love to see him come back. Maybe I’m the guy that he comes back and fights.”
McGregor will need to remain in the USADA drug testing pool for at least six months before he can take back to the octagon. Although he has indicated a return in the first quarter of 2023, it will likely happen after that as all pay-per-view cards get filled up.