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Michael Chandler says he is ‘the biggest fight’ for Conor McGregor after UFC 281 loss to Dustin Poirier

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler wants the money fight.

Michael Chandler might be coming off a loss from UFC 281, but he still believes he’s one of the hottest commodities in the UFC and the perfect fighter to welcome Irish superstar Conor McGregor back to the Octagon.

‘Iron Mike’ called out former two-division champ McGregor after his submission defeat to Dustin Poirier last night at Madison Square Garden, telling reporters at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference that he is ‘the biggest fight that he [McGregor] could take’.

“I think at this point he’ll come back and look at the suitors,” a defeated Chandler told the media following his Fight of the Night with Poirier (h/t TalkSport) in New York. “I don’t think I’m the easiest fight that he could take, but I am the biggest fight that he could take.

“I think Conor McGregor stepping back in the octagon does big numbers no matter what. But Conor McGregor stepping inside the octagon with me does staggering numbers.”

He added: “I respect him, I would love to see him come back and maybe I’ll be the guy that he comes back and fights. Get on [the drug testing], man. We all know that fighting is his first love.”

McGregor is still recovering from his broken leg TKO loss to Poirier last July and is expected to return to competition in 2023, although not at lightweight. ‘The Notorious’ is thought to have gained at least 25 pounds during his UFC hiatus, which means a potential fight with Chandler would have to be contested at a catchweight. The two previously expressed interest in a matchup following Chandler’s 2021 Fight of the Year with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268.