Former Bellator champion Michael Chandler is convinced that his clash with Conor McGregor will etch itself into the annals of UFC history as the biggest card next year.
MMA enthusiasts have held their breath for nearly a year, awaiting official confirmation of McGregor’s return to the Octagon. Michael Chandler has been announced as his opponent for quite some time, but no additional information has yet come to light.
It’s realistic to assume that the much-awaited bout won’t take place before the end of 2023. But Chandler stated during an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that the match is indeed on the horizon.
Chandler asserted. “The status is the fight is still happening, unequivocally. The fight is not booked for a date. The fight is not booked for a venue. The fight is booked between Chandler and Conor.”
“There is no way that Conor comes back and doesn’t fight me. If Conor doesn’t fight me, he’s probably not coming back and that’s out of my control. So, he’s coming back and he’s fighting me.”
“At this point, by deductive reasoning and by process of elimination, there’s a main event in December. There’s a main event in November. We’re not gonna not be a main event, so that pushes us into 2024.”
“I’m ready to fight in January, February, March, April, May… Whenever. So, we’ll see. It makes sense that there’s a very historic card coming up with the UFC. I haven’t been told that’s when we’ll meet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s when it is.”
It just so happens that the next historic event is UFC 300. While no official date or details have been confirmed, this landmark event is projected for April 2024. UFC centennial events have a history of boasting top-tier talent, making it an ideal backdrop for the McGregor vs. Chandler clash.
Chandler continued: “My heart of hearts says, the biggest fight we’ve seen in a very long time is gonna go down on the biggest card the UFC is gonna put together since UFC 200. Since UFC 100. My gut says we might be waiting out till UFC 300.”
“The good thing is, I’ve got a lot of good things to keep me busy and I’ve got the opportunity to train for Conor for a very long time.”
If the stars align and the bout materializes at UFC 300, both contenders will have approximately six months to complete their preparations. Nevertheless, McGregor’s participation in the event pivots on his re-entry into the USADA testing pool.
Conventionally, competitors must enroll for a minimum of six months prior to stepping into the Octagon. This necessitates McGregor’s return to the pool sometime this month.