Chandler will face McGregor’s three-time nemesis, Dustin Poirier, on the UFC 281 main card on Saturday in New York City. He returns following a vicious knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 earlier this year.
After defeating Ferguson, Chandler called out McGregor and others for his next fight. McGregor hasn’t fought since suffering a leg break against Poirier last year at UFC 264.
Before the Poirier fight came to fruition, Chandler advocated for a matchup with McGregor at either lightweight or welterweight. But, McGregor isn’t in the USADA testing pool and won’t be able to return until next year.
As McGregor continues his recovery and training toward a comeback, some have concerns about if he can remain healthy going forward. Chandler is willing to take that risk if it means securing a fight with the Irish star.
Michael Chandler Denies Conor McGregor ‘Injury Prone’ Theory
During a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, Chandler shut down the idea that McGregor has a history of injury issues.
“I would challenge the injury-prone [notion],” Chandler said. “You never quite know. I think a lot of guys after the fact… but Conor was pretty good and pretty vocal about all of the injuries that he had going into these fights. I think Conor has never pulled out of a fight to my knowledge. But you’re also talking about a leg that got shattered about a year ago. So, we don’t know who Conor’s gonna be after that injury… but he loves the fight game. I think he wants to come back no matter what, and why shouldn’t it be me?”
McGregor has dealt with chronic arthritis in both of his ankles for years, as UFC President Dana White revealed after UFC 264. This led to some questioning whether or not continuing to fight is in McGregor’s best interest.
A win over Poirier this weekend could potentially earn Chandler the next lightweight title shot. While another shot at the belt is enticing, Chandler feels making the McGregor fight happen could also be high on his priority list.
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