Conor McGregor says old anger is gone: ‘It doesn’t serve me well’

The Irishman will fight Michael Chandler on 29 June, three years after his last outing

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Wednesday 22 May 2024 16:30 BST
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Conor McGregor has opened up on his feelings towards Michael Chandler, suggesting that his old ‘animosity’ in the fight game is gone.

McGregor made a name by emotionally riling opponents and knocking them out clinically, and he was particularly fired up before and after his last fight – a loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021, when McGregor suffered a broken leg, six months after being knocked out by the American.

As McGregor prepares for his return to the Octagon, however, he has said he is “cold” and “emotionless”.

The Irishman, who will fight Chandler on 29 June in the UFC 303 main event, told The Mac Life on Tuesday (22 May): “I’m ready to go. I’m calm, I’m composed, I’m cold in the soul for this man and this whole thing. I’m coming back with a vengeance, and I’m coming back with skill.

“I’m excited to show my skills. I’m in a great place mentally, physically, spiritually. Five weeks’ time, we’re back on the horse. Giddy up.

“I don’t think I’ll go to that level [of animosity] again. It doesn’t serve a purpose, it doesn’t serve me well. You remain cold to the situation, you remain emotionless. It’s a blank face and a specific body type.

“He has his set movements, his set patterns he moves in, and his set shots, and I’m aware of them. I’m preparing for a multitude of outcomes. I’m confident that all my shots will land.”

McGregor has stressed his desire to fight again in September, in the first combat event at the Sphere in Las Vegas. The former dual-weight UFC champion doubled down on that idea on Tuesday.

“I’m going on a f***ing tear here, God willing,” said McGregor, 35. “29 June, I’ll fight my heart out. August we’ll be back preparing for 5 September [...] Training has been going tremendous, and I’m excited to get going. I’ll do three this year: June, September, December.

Conor McGregor (left) with Michael Chandler on the set of ‘The Ultimate Fighter'
Conor McGregor (left) with Michael Chandler on the set of ‘The Ultimate Fighter' (@TheNotoriousMMA via Twitter)

“We’ve got, what’s his name? Chandler in June. September, Sphere is Mexican Independence Day – potentially someone with a Mexican heritage. I think [Nate] Diaz would be perfect.

“I’m up for any one of them, and that’s the truth. I’m back, and I want activity. I’ve said this before, and God willing this is the time. I feel and believe that it is.”

McGregor has held UFC titles at featherweight and lightweight but has also competed at welterweight. He will fight Chandler in the latter division, despite the American’s lightweight pedigree.

The Irishman, who hinted he is unlikely to return to lightweight due to the weight-cut involved, also opened up on what has calmed him in recent times.

“Nature, God, these are things I’ve been doing anyway,” he said, “but I’m getting into them a bit more. My garden and house is like a park. I just enjoy it.”

McGregor also addressed the recent announcement of a sequel to the Road House remake, which he starred in this year. McGregor, who made his acting debut alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, was coy over his involvement in the sequel but acknowledged he had been asked to feature.

“I’m training, I’m focused on the fight, I don’t know whether I’m gonna do it again,” he said. “I appreciate the offer and the ask, and I just kind of left it on ice at the minute. And then they went ahead and announced the sequel.”

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