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Daniel Cormier's Call: McGregor vs. Chandler Bout Could Spark New Era in UFC

UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier is anticipating that the upcoming fight between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler could potentially make history in more ways than one. McGregor is set to make his highly anticipated UFC return at UFC 303 on June 29th against Chandler, marking their first meeting in the Octagon after previously coaching against each other on The Ultimate Fighter 31 last year.



Daniel Cormier


This bout is expected to be one of the biggest fights of 2024, with McGregor returning to action following a leg injury suffered at UFC 264, and Chandler looking to bounce back from a loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 281.


During McGregor and Chandler's time away from the octagon, discussions around weight-cutting and the potential addition of new UFC divisions have been on the rise. While the UFC has not announced any plans to add divisions, Cormier believes that the McGregor vs. Chandler fight should be for a belt and presents an ideal opportunity to introduce a new weight class.


Speaking on the Good Guy/Bad Guy podcast with Chael Sonnen, Cormier explained the rationale behind launching a 165lb division with McGregor vs. Chandler as the flagship bout.


“A lot of time it comes down to being at the right place, at the right time,” Cormier began. “Going back to me, they had no intent of giving me my first championship opportunity. But when Alexander Gustafsson got hurt, I stepped in, and I never left the title picture after. I was reliable. They could always call me and say ‘Hey, you want to fight this guy for the belt?’…
“Under the right circumstances, sometimes these things happen faster…I believe that if they’re going to do a 165lb division, it should have a name attached to the weight class that is so big, that it draws people’s attention,” Cormier continued. “Conor McGregor being that name.
Michael Chandler, on the other hand, will benefit from being in the right place at the right time, whereas these guys would then fight for the ‘super lightweight’ championship. That’s what I believe it is, and it’s only 10 pounds heavier than 155. Move 170 to 175, move 185 to 195, keep 205, keep heavyweight.”

The UFC has not introduced a new weight class since the closure of the women's featherweight division last year following Amanda Nunes' retirement. The McGregor vs. Chandler fight is set to take place at 170lbs, with McGregor returning to the welterweight division for the first time since his victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.

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