Following his back and forth war with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268, Chandler made it clear that he is interested in a fight with McGregor, something that the Irishman said he was down for, though perhaps not immediately. However, the former Bellator champion wants this for a different reason than one might assume.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Chandler explained that he has a lot of respect for the changes that McGregor has made for the UFC and the sport in general. So while a big payday might be nice, his true interest is in putting on a show for the most amount of fans possible, which is something that comes with a McGregor fight.
“Everyone wants Conor, obviously. But I think I want to fight him for a different reason. Everybody wants to fight Conor because it’s a big payday. I’m here in mixed martial arts to do big things, to be in big fights, big stages, against big opponents, in big arenas, with a lot of eyeballs. That’s what excites me about a fight with Conor,” Chandler said.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Conor, and people will discredit what he has done because of certain things that he’s said, but what he has done is revolutionize the entire sport. The sport of mixed martial arts is better because Conor McGregor is in it. It’s bigger, and it’s got more eyeballs on it because of what Conor’s done. So to share the Octagon with him, that’s why I want to do it.
“It’s not the payday, it’s (not) the red panty night, it’s not all the other things that these fighters are chasing. Of course, do I want that? Do I want to proceed for my family? Of course. But I want epic moments of maximum amounts of impact, and that’s what you get when you fight Conor McGregor.”
Michael Chandler continued by explaining that he wishes Conor McGregor a successful recovery from his broken leg. He is aware that McGregor has options for his return, but hopes to stand apart of the shortlist.
“We’ll see what happens. Conor, I wish him well in his recovery. It looks like on his social media, he’s back out there, he’s training, he’s moving around, but he needs some time. He deserves some time. He’s set for life, he doesn’t need to fight… He fights because he loves, and he fights because of what it does for his soul, what he gets to do with his platform,” Chandler said.
“I think it’s a fight that makes sense. I think I’m a guy who’s solidified himself in the top of the division. Conor needs to come back and get a win, but he’s also got a ton of options. We’ll see what happens.”
Would you like to see Michael Chandler serve as Conor McGregor’s next opponent?