Michael Chandler gives disappointing update on Conor McGregor fight

The pair were initially expected to clash this summer, but their fight date could be much later, according to Chandler

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Thursday 04 May 2023 09:58 BST
Former UFC champion shows off broken tooth after bare-knuckle match

Michael Chandler has said his fight with Conor McGregor could take place in ‘winter at the latest’, as the UFC clash continues to be delayed.

It was announced in early February that McGregor and Chandler would serve as opposing coaches on UFC television show The Ultimate Fighter, the new season of which will run from 30 May to 15 August.

It was initially expected that former dual-weight champion McGregor and Chandler, a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, would fight each other immediately at the conclusion of the series. However, Chandler has now suggested that there is little to no chance of that happening.

“Conor says one thing, Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency) says another,” the American told ESPN, referencing McGregor’s absence from the agency’s testing pool.

“Conor [likes to] publicly be in spats, whether it be Dana [White, UFC president] here and there, sponsors here and there, people who it doesn’t even make sense for him to be picking fights with, different weight classes, different organisations, all kinds of stuff.

“It’s all just a big show. I don’t know what the understanding is. I could see it very well being just two clean tests [that McGregor needs to compete]. I have no problem with it being two clean tests, I could [not] care less. If you do two clean tests, sounds to me like you’re clean.

“At this point, who am I to say what the stipulations are? I’m ready for him to be cleared or at least get that answer. At this point, we don’t have an answer.”

To compete in the UFC, athletes must have been in Usada’s testing pool for at least six months and must submit zero positive tests. However, it is believed that Irishman McGregor may receive an exemption.

“Ultimately, all I gotta do is leave it up to how it’s supposed to happen,” Chandler said. “At this point, I’m believing we’re going to fight later on this fall, maybe winter at the latest. We’ll see what happens.”

Conor McGregor has not fought since July 2021, when he suffered a broken leg
Conor McGregor has not fought since July 2021, when he suffered a broken leg (Getty Images)

In McGregor’s last fight, a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021, the 34-year-old suffered a broken leg. Chandler, 36, also lost to Poirier in his most recent fight, suffering a submission defeat by his fellow American in November.

Both contests took place at lightweight, the division in which McGregor and Chandler usually compete, although McGregor is also a former UFC featherweight champion and has fought at welterweight in the promotion.

The Irishman has bulked up significantly since his last fight, and no weight class has yet been assigned to his bout with Chandler.

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