Michael Chandler Wants UFC Opportunity: ‘I’d Be Down’

Michael Chandler

Getty Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler is all in on coaching against UFC superstar Conor McGregor during an upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and then he wants to meet the Irishman inside the Octagon.

The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion is currently ranked No. 5 in the UFC’s 155-pound rankings. And he’s made it clear that being McGregor’s comeback opponent is priority No. 1.

McGregor teased last week that he had been asked by the promotion to coach on “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC’s long-running reality competition television series. “I like it,” McGregor wrote on Instagram about the opportunity. “It’s full immersion which is needed. I see fighters lining up. I know what’s ahead. I been ready motherf******.”

Traditionally the show’s two coaches fight at the end of the season, and longtime lightweight staple Tony Ferguson stated via social media that he had been asked to coach as well.

However, according to Chandler, it’s not a done deal between Ferguson and McGregor. “That was definitely just a tweet,” Chandler said while appearing on Michael Bisping’s “Believe You Me” podcast. “I know for sure that was definitely just a tweet thrown out there to see if it gained any traction.”

“Confirmed, Tony Ferguson is just throwing stuff out there,” Chandler continued. “That’s been in the talks. Obviously, everybody knows that I’d be down — me, Conor on TUF, whether it be four, six weeks. However long, we’d be filming that thing. The tension, the rivalry, the competition, the trash talk, just the animosity that would be built up and then go into a training camp and then fight later on after the show.

“I want the fight. Everybody knows that. The fans want the fight. Dana [White] has gone public saying he wants that fight. So, the UFC wants the fight. I’ve actually heard from numerous UFC people that that’s the fight a lot of people are talking about.”

Chandler Points to What Would Likely Be a Wild First Round

Both Chandler and McGregor are known as strong starters who look to take their opponent out within the opening frame. Well, “Iron” pointed to that being another reason why he should battle McGregor next.

“Could you imagine the first round?” Chandler continued. “Could you imagine ‘The Foggy Dew’ and then my NF coming on. And then we go out there and then just two dudes trying to finish each other in the first round. Massive.”

Iron Is Willing to Meet McGregor at Welterweight

Chandler is a career lightweight combatant. But, considering the size McGregor has put on since his last bout in 2021 — and his comments about not wanting to cut to 155 pounds again — Iron knows “Notorious” will likely fight at no less than 170 pounds. And Chandler welcomes that.

“Absolutely,” Chandler said when asked about his willingness to fight McGregor at welterweight. “I actually have told myself… if I win this fight, I’m never fighting at 155 again. I’m walking around at almost 190 right now. I stay lean.

“I’m not getting fluffy or fat. And I’m always around that 185 to 190 clip. So, 170 for me would be a dream come true. I don’t like making 155.”

“I still think I’m bigger than Conor at this point,” Chandler continued. “Even with his regimen that he’s been on.”

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