Friday, April 16, 2021

Michael Chandler Envisions First Title Defense To Be Against McGregor

Even before competing for the vacant title against Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler believes that a fight with Conor McGregor may serve as his first title defense after he takes care of business at UFC 262.

Michael Chandler set the mixed martial arts world ablaze after he knocked out Dan Hooker in less than three minutes into the first round. Not to mention, the American wrestler picked up the win on one of the biggest cards of the year with Conor McGregor rematching Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.

Looking to derail the Brazilian’s eight-fight win-streak, Michael Chandler intends to capture the vacant title against the 3rd-degree blackbelt. After that, Chandler has already mapped out possible title defenses on the horizon.

Michael Chandler Hopeful To Face “The Notorious” In First Title Defense

Was Conor McGregor overrated? How UFC 257 loss impacts his MMA legacy |  Sporting News
Conor McGregor. Image Credit: Getty Images

Upon reviewing the last performance of McGregor, Michael Chandler believes with the right adjustments that the Irish superstar could be standing across from him as soon as this fall. However, first he has one of the most decorated grapplers in the UFC to deal with.

“I actually watched, ‘The Detail’ they do on — Daniel Cormier narrates it, and kinda breaks down the fight and I watched it. Michael Chandler said to ESPN. I think there’s some — just very few little things that Conor can do to win that fight (against Poirier). I think it’s Conor McGregor — I think it’s sometime later this fall or winter. But also, that’s probably wishful thinking.“

Overall, Chandler is eager to fight for the title but admits that a crop of lightweight contenders turned down a fight with him when he first entered the UFC. In addition, the former 3X Bellator lightweight champion outlined that a fight with Poirier would be a favorable matchup for him.

“If it’s Dustin Poirier, I’m excited about that opportunity as well,” Michael Chandler explained. “I think I match up with Dustin Poirier better than a lot of those guys in the division — that’s why I called for that fight right away. He said ‘No’, and (Justin) Gaethje said ‘no’, and (Tony) Ferguson said ‘no’ and every single one of these guys had said no.

Dustin Poirier takes decision over Dan Hooker in UFC thriller - Los Angeles  Times
Dustin Poirier. Image Credit: Gregory Payan, Associated Press

“So once I have the title — everyone’s gonna say ‘yes’. We will see, I think it’s going to be — if I put money on it, I think it’s gonna Conor, I think he makes some adjustments — some very small, minor adjustments and he gets the win in that trilogy. At least, that’s what I’m believing, and that’s what my mindset is if I think about who’s gonna win that fight.“

If Chandler gets his hands on the title, he believes all of the rejection he’s gotten lately will fall by the wayside and fighters will be lining up to face him. With Oliveira and Chandler set to headline UFC 262, it seems as though a rubber match with McGregor and Poirier is not a matter of if but when. The lightweight division is undergoing an exciting transition and soon fans will find out where the weight class stands after these two pivotal matchups conclude.

Do you believe Michael Chandler is looking past Oliveira? Let us know what you think below!