Conor McGregor always feels one win away from a title shot.
“The Notorious” former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion hasn’t fought since July 2021 when suffering a nasty broken leg opposite Dustin Poirier. Seemingly all healed up and good to go, McGregor’s return is set for the second half of 2023, coming at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter 31’s finale.
Standing across from McGregor will be one-time UFC title challenger and three-time Bellator lightweight titleholder Michael Chandler. While both enter the bout on losses, Michael Bisping believes a title shot for either fan favorite is in the cards.
“If McGregor gets it done, will we see him fight for the title next? That is a given,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “That is 100 percent. Just prepare yourself mentally for that. Regardless of whatever you think, he’s the biggest star in the sport. He’s a former two-weight division champion, and he’s a person that people want to see fight.
“So, if he goes out there and beats Michael Chandler, who’s one of the top-ranked lightweights on the planet, and he does it in exciting fashion, I’ll be honest, I’d have no problem with him fighting for the belt. McGregor vs. Chandler, I’m excited. Take my money already.”
Chandler has been targeting a McGregor showdown since his arrival in the promotion in Jan. 2021, whether at 155 or 170 pounds. It looked like “Iron” was again out of luck as just a few weeks ago, his past foe Tony Ferguson was the one most linked to being McGregor’s next dance partner.
In terms of danger and current divisional status, Chandler outweighs Ferguson at this stage and is on the list of people to set “El Cucuy” back. Ferguson is currently riding a five-fight losing streak and because of his believed decline, the former middleweight champ in Bisping can’t help but heap praise onto the Irishman for any say he may have had in the matchmaking.
“I respect him for taking this fight,” Bisping said of McGregor. “There were easier fights for him to take. There was a rumor that McGregor was going to go up against Tony Ferguson.
“Tony Ferguson would’ve been — with respect to Tony — a kind of more winnable fight … It’s a tough fight for McGregor. He’s been away for a while. He’s getting older. He’s been partying a bit. He snapped his leg. He’s got up to 170 [pounds], 185, 205, whatever he weighs. Now, if the fight takes place at 155, he’s gotta lose all that mass. He’s gotta come off all the supplements he’s been taking, he’s gotta get fit, get in shape, and he’s gotta stay focused.”
There is no official date for McGregor vs. Chandler as of yet. McGregor still needs to re-enter the USADA testing pool after exiting in 2022.
Hopeful. Michael Chandler believes Conor McGregor fight could earn 2 million PPV buys: ‘It’s very achievable’
The MMA Hour.
UFC 284 Embedded 1.
Conor McGregor’s perfect opponent?
This guy is just too good.
He hit him with a Lincoln.
Only thing I wish is that people actually wanting to see you fight!!! You don’t had a belt never have and while I’m here you never will!!! Chubby will turn you into a meme earn the fight and will gladly free these free on yo Abe Lincoln lookin ass!!! #Sincerely #YourKING https://t.co/PXaXZlcBmH
— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) February 6, 2023
It’s true. I was there.
A few moments after this photo was taken, Fedor Emelianenko gifted me his fight week track suit. This gesture means a lot to me and I’ll cherish it forever! pic.twitter.com/Zm8BvlrX47
— . (@kidceej) February 6, 2023
The Satoko Shinashi vs. Hisae Watanabe rivalry is one of the more important ones between unheralded pioneers and legends in MMA. It’s officially a Shinashi fight week for the first time since 2019… and a rubber match is actually still a possibility in 2023… #DEEP112Impact pic.twitter.com/3oJi3UFRZR
— Drake Riggs (@DrakeRiggs_) February 7, 2023
One year ago today I took a chance and realized a dream I had since I was 10 years old.
Signed to the UFC.
Still got a lot of work and a lot of proving still to do ! pic.twitter.com/vlG0kuoD1Q
— Fremd (@joshfremd) February 7, 2023
I sure hope Bisping is wrong, but you have to imagine that he’s probably right. It would be too hard for the UFC to resist.
Thanks for reading!
Last Week’s Results:
Wednesday: 42% of 771 total votes answered “Tony Ferguson” when asked, “Who would be the more entertaining fighter for Conor McGregor to coach The Ultimate Fighter against?” Michael Chandler was recently announced as McGregor’s next opponent and rival coach on TUF 31.
Tuesday: 47% of 392 total votes answered “Lower” when asked, “Where does Jake Paul rank amongst all-time great combat sports marketers and promoters?”
Monday: 71% of 642 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will Raul Rosas Jr. win a UFC title?”
Today’s exit poll: