Michael Chandler welcomes Conor McGregor clash, admits he would take title shot first ahead of UFC 281 return

Michael Chandler
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC & Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

Maintaining a blockbuster lightweight fight against former two-weight UFC champion, Conor McGregor appeals to him, incoming UFC 281 feature, Michael Chandler insists he would have to accept a title shot over a potential lucrative payday against the Dubliner.

Chandler, who is set to return to the Octagon on November 12. at Madison Square Garden, is slated to feature against former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier in a long-anticipated showdown in New York.

As for McGregor, the 34-year-old Crumlin native is expected to make his Octagon return in the opening months of 2023, after suffering a fractured left tibia in the opening round of his trilogy rubber match with Poirier back in July of last year.

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Michael Chandler still remains open to a fight with Conor McGregor

Constantly chomping at the bit to share the Octagon with McGregor in the future, Chandler, who even offered to make a welterweight division charge in order to welcome the striker back to active competition, maintains, however, he would have to take a title shot over a bout with the former first and foremost. 

“Honestly, I fight for the title (first) – I win the title,” Michael Chandler told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I started this journey in 2009, I fell short of becoming a national champion in wrestling at Missou (Missouri), obviously I was a multiple time Bellator champion, but I was never the number one guy in the world.”

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“I go out there I win the UFC title, I’m the number one guy in the world,” Michael Chandler explained. “I can rest my head on my pillow for the rest of my life, knowing I was a champion. Knowing that – I’ve always put it on the line, I’ve always acted and treated this like a profession. And always stayed disciplined, but never become the number one guy in the world. I wanna become the number one guy in the world. And that’s my ultimate goal. I think that’s gonna happen, I think that’s on the cards for me. And then I fight Conor (McGregor) after that. And it’s an even bigger show.”

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Snapping a two-fight losing skid against both former champion, Charles Oliveira, and Justin Gaethje in his last Octagon appearance, Kill Cliff FC mainstay, Chandler stopped recent UFC 279 headliner, Tony Ferguson with a brutal second round front kick KO back in May.

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.