Chandler and McGregor are slated to meet up at some point after serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. However, McGregor has yet to re-enter the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool, which is putting a delay on their potential matchup.
Chandler gave his point of view on the situation on if the fight will ever go down.
“Conor says one thing, USADA says another,” Chandler told ESPN. “Conor [likes to] publicly be in spats, whether it be Dana here and there, sponsors here and there, people who it doesn’t even make sense for him to be picking fights with, different weight classes, different organizations, all kinds of stuff. It’s all just a big show. I don’t know what the understanding is. I could see it very well being just two clean tests. I have no problem with it being two clean tests. I could care less. If you do two clean tests, sounds to me like you’re clean. At this point, who am I to say what the stipulations are? I’m ready for him to be cleared or at least get that answer. At this point, we don’t have an answer.”
Michael Chandler on McGregor: ‘I Think He’s Coming Back’
The fight with McGregor is set to be a huge payday for Chandler but it’s very much up in the air. Chandler thinks it would be a big blow to McGregor’s reputation and legacy if he backed out at this point.
“Conor, to his core, really is romantic about combat sports or the sport of mixed martial arts. He loves it,” Chandler said. “I think he’s coming back. It sure would be a huge stain on his legacy leading everyone down a road, making people think he’s coming back, and then kind of chickening out.”
McGregor hasn’t fought since July of 2021, when he broke his leg against Dustin Poirier. He’s lost three of his last four fights in the UFC. Chandler has been on a similar skid, losing three of four, albeit against some elite opponents. He’s confident that he’d be able to finish McGregor inside the distance.
“I finish him in the second round by clean KO and his head bounces off the canvas. I’m going out there pick him apart. Pick him up put him down, beat him in any way that I want to.”
Conor McGregor’s Claim Over Testing Disputed
There’s been some mixed messaging on what it will take for McGregor to get back into the ring. The Irishman shared previously that he’ll need just two clean tests to fight.
“There’s hurdles and what not, but we’re in constant communication [with USADA] and there’s an interview scheduled and a meeting happens and then it will be official,” McGregor told The MMA Hour. “But the six months thing, what they had said was two clean tests and off I go, so I assume it won’t be too long.”
The USADA issued a statement following McGregor’s comments, pushing back against his assertion.
“While the rules permit the UFC to make an exception to the six-month rule in exceptional circumstances, when the strict application of the rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete, our position, which we have made clear, is that Conor should be in the testing pool for the full six-month period,” the statement read, per TSN Sports MMA reporter Aaron Bronsteter.