UFC lightweight contender, Michael Chandler has jumped to the defense of expected imcoming opponent, Conor McGregor, claiming the Dubliner did pass the “smell test” after the latter has been hit with multiple accusations of steroid and performance-enhancing drug use in his time away from the Octagon

Chandler, the current #5 ranked lightweight contender, most recently featured on the main card of UFC 281 back in November at Madison Square Garden – suffering a third round rear-naked choke submission loss.

As for McGregor, the Crumlin native most recenty featured atop a UFC 264 card against common-foe, Poirier in July 2021, suffering a fractured left tibia and fibula en route to a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO defeat.

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Recently finishing filming on The Ultimate Fighter 31 earlier this month, Chandler and McGregor are expected to fight later this year at the end of the reality television show season, however, the UFC are yet to officially confirm an event, location, or date for the expected welterweight bout.

Calling for anti-doping agency, USADA to be disbanded over the course of last week, McGregor claimed he only needed two negative drug tests in order to make a UFC return, however, the anti-doping agency disputed that claim in a statement released.

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Michael Chandler leaps to the defense of upcoming foe, Conor McGregor

Sharing his thoughts on accusations of steroid and performance enhancing drug-use during his time away from active competition, Chandler claimed the Dubliner would obviously see an increase in upper-body muscle mass during his recovery from his leg injury.

“If I tell you I’m not on steroids or if Conor (McGregor) tells you he’s not on steroids, all you can do is either accept that as fact or he left up to your own scepticism and that’s no way to live,” Michael Chandler said during an Instagram live Q&A session.

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“My answer for did he pass the eye and smell test?” Michael Chandler said. “He’s definitely gotten bigger and put on some muscle. Obviously, when you break your leg and all you can do is lift upper body for the last year and a half. The dude is going to put on some muscle. Not to mention the fact that dude doesn’t want to fight at featherweight or lightweight anymore, he wants to go up to welterweight so he’s gotten bigger. But, yes, he passed the test. …” (Transcribed by Mirror)

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.