Irish UFC superstar Conor McGregor shared his first comments on fighting Michael Chandler.
Not only will the two scrap later in 2023 — though a date and location haven’t been confirmed by the UFC — but, they’ll also coach opposite each other on “The Ultimate Fighter,” which will soon begin filming in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor had been virtually silent about Chandler since UFC president Dana White announced the pairing earlier this month. But, that’s no longer the case.
“I’m looking forward to it,” McGregor said to Daily Mirror. “I feel good, I feel energetic, I feel ready. I’m throwing up my high kicks faster than I’m throwing out my jab. So I’m very excited to get back. [I fly to Vegas] tomorrow.”
McGregor hasn’t competed since July 2021 when he broke his leg during his UFC 264 match with Dustin Poirier. He’s 1-2 in his last three fights, which include back-to-back defeats to Poirier and a dominant victory over Donald Cerrone. And for Chandler, he’s coming off a “Fight of the Year” candidate defeat to Poirier in November. Poirier forced “Iron” to submit to a third-round rear-naked choke at UFC 281.
UFC Is Looking at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium as Potential Venue
White spoke with Fanatics View during the UFC 284 fight week, and he revealed that the promotion was considering the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — the home of the Dallas Cowboys — as a potential venue to host McGregor versus Chandler.
“I have a really good relationship with (Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) and we’ve talked for a long time,” White said. “Done charity stuff with him. What’s funny is that you’re asking me this question. Earlier when I was over here they were asking me about [the] Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler fight. They’re asking me where it is. I said we don’t know yet, we’re working that out.
“But, to go to Dallas, Texas’ stadium, you have to have the right fight. Conor and Chandler are doing ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ this year. They’re coaching it. It’s the first time that it’s going to be on ESPN the network — because it was on ESPN+ — which will make the fight even bigger than it will already be. And Dallas, Texas stadium is a possibility.”
“Let’s just say this, they’re in the running for the fight,” White continued. “When you look at a fight of the magnitude, you’ve got to look at Madison Square Garden. Obviously, [Las] Vegas, which we could do the stadium there. Or we could do T-Mobile [Arena]. You look at Dallas, Texas stadium. You could also do a massive stadium in London.”
Matt Brown Thinks McGregor Will Retire if He Loses to Chandler
UFC veteran Matt Brown said on MMA Fighting’s “The Fighter vs. The Writer” that should McGregor lose to Chandler, he’ll likely retire from mixed martial arts.
“I have a hard time seeing [Conor] fighting again if he comes back and he loses, especially a bad loss like that,” Brown said. “He doesn’t have any reason to [fight again]. He’s coming back because he loves fighting and he wants to put on a show and he wants to be a champion again, I’m sure.
“I can’t imagine him having the motivation to fight again if he comes back and gets knocked out by Michael Chandler.”