Michael Chandler hopes to fight Conor McGregor in July 2023, with oddsmakers predicting him as the most likely candidate for McGregor’s return to the octagon.
‘Iron Mike’ has been vocal about his desire to fight McGregor for the past few years, and recently told MMA Junkie that progress is being made towards making the proposed matchup a reality.
He didn’t reveal whether official talks are underway, but he is hopeful the fight will be finalized and take place in July, potentially in Las Vegas.
“People think it’s going to be the fastest-paced, craziest first round of all-time,” Chandler said of a possible fight with McGregor. “I definitely think it will be [Conor McGregor]. The way that Conor McGregor starts fights, the way I start fights – it’s a car crash in the middle of the Octagon.”
“Hopefully at T-Mobile Arena here in Vegas in July,” he added. “It’s going to be huge, it’s going to be awesome and I believe it’s going to happen. Things are moving in the right direction.”
McGregor is currently undergoing rehabilitation for a broken leg, but he is expected to return to competition once he has completed six months of mandatory drug testing and re-entered the USADA testing pool. He was recently removed from the UFC rankings due to inactivity, having been sidelined for the entire year.
Chandler’s last fight was at UFC 281, where he was submitted by Dustin Poirier in the third round with a rear-naked choke. He is currently ranked #5 in the UFC lightweight division and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting fighters in the weight class, with Fight of the Night performances against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.