Michael Chandler fought the last fight on his contract at Bellator 243 when he picked up a first round victory against Benson Henderson. With the talk of entering free agency, the former lightweight champion had to entertain questions about potential lightweight match ups with others in his class, including Conor McGregor.
Even outside of the UFC, when discussing high profile matchups that are in the 145 to 170-pound weight class, a question about facing McGregor seems to always pop up. When it did at the post-fight media scrum following Bellator 243, Chandler had praise for what McGregor had done for the sport.
“I’ve always loved what he has done with the sport I’ve never once hated on him,” Chandler said of McGregor and added, “In the very beginning I did say that he’s not as good as he thinks he is, but he’s better than we think he is and he continued to prove that.” Chandler still believes that to be the case with McGregor.
As far as how they match up, Chandler said, “As far as that fight goes; I finish Conor in under two in my opinion. It’d be similar to shades of Diaz one. Wear him down, hit him with hard shots, take every single one of his shots.” Like most, Chandler knows McGregor’s straight left punch has been his greatest weapon. He believes if he can avoid that, the fight is his to win. Chandler said, “You avoid that, wear him down a little bit, make him see Jesus to put him out.”
“make him see Jesus to put him out.”-Michael Chandler on Conor McGregor
McGregor has said he is retired but seems to tease a return. Chandler has not entertained any offers just yet, but the fact that he has analyzed a potential match with McGregor would certainly make for an interesting bargaining chip to bring him into the UFC if both parties are interested.
Where does Chandler go from here?