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Conor McGregor's Return: The Michael Chandler Showdown Still in the Spotlight

In the tumultuous world of mixed martial arts, rivalries and matchups often take unexpected twists and turns. One such rivalry that continues to capture the imagination of fight fans worldwide is the brewing clash between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler.

Conor McGregor, the former two-division UFC champion, made it abundantly clear that his sights are still set on facing Michael Chandler when he returns to the octagon. McGregor's emphatic statement came during an interview with All Out Fighting, where he left no room for doubt.

"Yes, it has to be," McGregor asserted when asked about Chandler as his next opponent. "Has to be. Chandler, sit down and wait and shut your mouth, yeah? The Mac will be here soon."

The saga of McGregor and Chandler began with their roles as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31, a season that witnessed their respective team members, Kurt Holobaugh and Brad Katona, emerge as winners in their weight divisions. The anticipation for a showdown between McGregor and Chandler had reached a fever pitch, with a late 2023 date initially on the cards. However, the fight never materialized despite the immense excitement.

When questioned about the feasibility of a 2023 bout, McGregor remained optimistic, expressing hope for a December showdown with Chandler. However, with the UFC's recently finalized year-end schedule featuring five championship bouts across the final three pay-per-views of 2023, the likelihood of McGregor's return in 2023 appears slim.

UFC CEO Dana White echoed this sentiment, indicating that Conor's return is more likely in the following year, and Chandler's patience may be required.

"I got nothing on either one of those guys right now," White stated. "Next year is when Conor's going to fight, and when the time is right for the Conor fight, I'm sure that's the fight he wants."

McGregor's return is highly anticipated, given his star power and past achievements in the sport, despite a string of recent losses. The Irishman has been out of action since July 2021 due to a leg injury sustained in a bout against Dustin Poirier.

In a surprising twist, McGregor also weighed in on the professional boxing debut of his longtime rival, Nate Diaz, who faced Jake Paul. McGregor expressed disappointment in Diaz's performance and voiced his desire to fulfill a debt owed to Diaz in the world of MMA.

"It was not great," McGregor remarked regarding Diaz's boxing match. "I owe him a fight. I owe Nate a fight, so I've got to obligate that. He gave me my rematch, and I got the better of him, and I owe him the trilogy for sure."

As the MMA world eagerly awaits Conor McGregor's return, one thing is certain: the rivalry between him and Michael Chandler continues to be a captivating storyline that could redefine the landscape of the sport when it eventually comes to fruition.


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