After it was reported that UFC President Dana White told ESPN that Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler is likely to be booked, the former two-division champion has opened up as the betting favorite.
McGregor opened up as a -155 favorite, while Chandler opened as +135 underdog in a potential welterweight bout. It’s important to note that the odds could be based on ‘The Notorious’ having had success at 170lbs more recently than ‘Iron’, whose last welterweight bout took place in 2010.
While speaking with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, Chandler spoke about the possibility of fighting McGregor at 170lbs, saying:
“Luckily I’m 190(lbs) right now… So, I will just go into really heavy training like I would in a normal training camp. Eat normal and I’ll be 175-180[lbs], you know. I don’t need extra size on me, I feel my best at 175-180[lbs]… I’m in a good spot size-wise. I just wouldn’t cut the extra water weight at the very end. It would be amazing to fight 170[lbs], so let’s go ahead and do that.”
In 2021, McGregor posted a photo on Twitter and captioned it by revealing how he felt at a different weight, writing:
“Best I’ve felt – 170. Best record/run – 145. Best performance – 155. What does this tell me? I’ve no idea but I love it hahahahaah”
The Irishman has competed across three divisions during his UFC tenure so far, including featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight, and became the first fighter to hold both featherweight and lightweight championships simultaneously.
Conor McGregor has been successful at welterweight
Conor McGregor has had success competing at welterweight in the past and in doing so, even set pay-per-view records at the time.
‘The Notorious’ first foray into the welterweight division was unintentional when he and Nate Diaz fought at UFC 196. He was originally scheduled to move up to lightweight to challenge then-champion Rafael dos Anjos, but the Brazilian sustained an injury and was forced out of the event. To remain on the card, the Irishman accepted a welterweight bout with the younger Diaz.
After his loss to Diaz, ‘The Notorious’ pursued an immediate rematch and avenged his loss to the Stockton native. Since then, he has only competed at welterweight once more at UFC 246, where he defeated Donald Cerrone via TKO in only 40 seconds.
Meanwhile, despite not competing at 170 lbs since 2010, Chandler has competed in a few bouts at both 160 lbs and 165 lbs. He was unbeaten in those bouts, which could be a positive reassurance that he is capable of competing against ‘Mystic Mac’ in a heavier-weight division.