Every UFC fighter knows that signing up for a fight against Conor McGregor also means psyching yourself up for the weeks of trash talk during the build-up. And sometimes, things can get personal and a bit out of line.
“The Notorious” has yet to book his next fight, which he says is down to the last two in his contract. Recently, Michael Chandler’s name has been among the list of McGregor’s next possible opponents, as the two have agreed to a fight sometime in the coming year.
In a recent episode of ESPN’s DC & RC show, Chandler was asked how he plans to handle McGregor’s gamesmanship. The three-time Bellator champion seemed unbothered and believes he can hold his own.
“You might see a different side of me, but chances are… I think I’m pretty good at using my vocabulary and my linguistic jiu-jitsu to wrap guys up in some words that they may not understand, without having to really take to base-level assaults or talking about different things that are gonna be damaging to a guy’s reputation, if you will,” he said.
“I respect Conor for what he’s done, I respect Conor as a fighter, and I even respect his trash talk game.”
Right now, nothing’s been set in stone. McGregor has other options, which includes a third bout with Nate Diaz. Nonetheless, Chandler expects it to be a fight to remember, if things do get finalized.
“It’s something that, as we said, big fights, big opponents, and big stages. And it just gets bigger and bigger with every single conversation that gets had. Every single social media post, and every single moment that he and I would be on the microphone,” he said.
“He needs to heal up, I need to heal up. We’ll see if that fight happens. If it does, it’s definitely gonna be fireworks inside the Octagon, and I guarantee I can carry my weight outside the Octagon on the microphone.”
Like McGregor, Chandler is currently on a two-fight skid. He last fought at UFC 268 against Justin Gaethje in a three-rounder that many deem to be a strong candidate for 2021’s Fight of the Year.