Wrapping up filming on The Ultimate Fighter 31 earlier this week ahead of his UFC return later this year, Conor McGregor admitted he has admiration for Michael Chandler, however, insists he will still “mince” the Missouri veteran.

McGregor, 34, a former two-weight champion under the banner of the UFC, returned to Las Vegas, Nevada back in February – beginning filming on the reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter. 

Coaching on the programs for the second time in his Octagon tenure, McGregor will feature opposite #5 ranked lightweight, Chandler, will the duo expected to fight later this year.

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While an official date, location, venue, nor event for the bout has been determined, the UFC have floated a September showcase, however, McGregor has yet to return to the USADA testing pool.

Sidelined since July 2021, the Crumlin native suffered a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Dustin Poirier, fracturing his left tibia and fibula to boot.

Conor McGregor shares his admiration for Michael Chandler

Booking an outing opposite Chandler for his next Octagon walk, McGregor admitted that while he has admiration for the former – despite their documented run-in on the show, he will still “mince” him regardless.

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“I had respect for (Michael) Chandler [before TUF 31] – we had an issue, right,” Conor McGregor told Barstool Sports. “Obviously, tempers are flaring – it’s a f*cking hostile thing. I like his style, he likes my style, we have a good little buzz.”

“There’s still competitive fire – I’m still gonna mince him,” Conor McGregor stated. “I know he’s gonna try and throw everything into his shots also. But there’s still admiration – that’s how it should be. That’s how sport should be, you should have the ability to separate it. We had an issue once during it, and it’s all good. Tempers were flaring – we got past it.”

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In his most recent Octagon walk, Chandler suffered a third round submission loss to the above-mentioned, Poirier at UFC 281 back in November at Madison Square Garden.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.