Last Saturday, “Iron” competed for the second time at Madison Square Garden as a UFC lightweight. He took on McGregor’s three-time opponent Dustin Poirier during the UFC 281 featured bout in New York City.
It was an electric contest with both men having their moments — Poirier seemingly almost finished Chandler at the end of the frantic opening frame and Iron bounced back to control “The Diamond” on the ground for most of the second round.
However, Poirier dug deep in the third, outlasting Chandler by catching the former Bellator 155-pound champion in a rear-naked choke — forcing the tap.
Chandler spoke with media members at the post-fight press conference. And he once again called for a shot against “Notorious.”
“I think at this point he comes back, and he looks at the suitors, I don’t think I’m the easiest fight that he can take – but I do think I’m the biggest fight that he can take,” Chandler said via MMA Junkie. “I think Conor McGregor stepping back in the octagon does big numbers no matter what, (but) he and I step in to the Octagon, and we’ll do staggering numbers.
“I do think that. I respect him. I would love to see him come back. Maybe I’m the guy that he comes back and fights.”
Chandler Called McGregor a ‘Legend,’ Tells Him to Return to ‘First Love’
Chandler continued with his thoughts on McGregor, praising the Irishman’s success inside and outside of the Octagon.
“We all know that fighting is his first love,” Chandler said. “Exactly six years ago today, Nov. 12, 2016, he became the double champ, and he apologized to absolutely nobody, and it was absolutely awesome.
“He’s a legend of the sport. He’s the biggest name in the sport. It was bad enough we had to compete with Bentleys, Bugattis, boats, and a $100 million dollar whiskey company. Now we have to compete with the silver screens and bright lights of Hollywood. But come back to your first love, Conor. Step back in the Octagon with me.”
Iron Challenged Notorious After His Win Against Tony Ferguson Earlier This Year
In what could possibly be crowned sd the best knockout of 2022, Chandler devastated fan-favorite fighter Tony Ferguson with a front kick to the face at UFC 274 in May. The KO ended Chandler’s two-fight losing streak and set him up for a clash with Poirier, the No. 2-ranked lightweight.
During his in-cage interview with Joe Rogan after the fact, it was McGregor who Chandler called for, however. And Iron even said he’d battle the Irishman at welterweight instead of lightweight — something that would likely sound appealing to Notorious.
“I’ve got one dude on my mind — Conor McGregor!,” Chandler said. “You’ve got to come back and fight somebody. I am the most entertaining lightweight on the planet. But I want to up the stakes, Conor. I want you at your biggest. I want you at your baddest and I want you at your best.
“You and me at 170!”
McGregor recently finished filming “Road House,” however UFC president Dana White confirmed in October that Notorious had to re-enter and stay in the United States Anti-Doping Agency drug-testing pool for at least six months before he could fight again. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear if McGregor has done so.