Conor McGregor’s much-awaited return to the octagon will be against Michael Chandler. The two will face off as opposing coaches on season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter before their anticipated matchup.
However, Islam Makhachev recently questioned the former double champ’s interest in facing the No.5-ranked lightweight.
Speaking on the WEIGHING IN podcast, the lightweight champion stated:
“They try to make the fight, but it’s not official now and I don’t think Conor wants to fight because he’s drinking too much, smoking all day. He just can’t. TUF makes some things interesting because everybody’s forgot him. I don’t know when he fought last time.”
Islam Makhachev shared that he believes the UFC will give Conor McGregor a title opportunity if he wins, adding:
“If they fight, I think it’s going to be 170. Maybe if he beats Chandler, they’re going to try to push him and make 155. I know they want to give him title chance.”
While McGregor spent much of his time away from the octagon partying, he appears determined to make his return. Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter will debut on May 30, airing on ESPN. While the final episode will air on August 15, no date or weight class has been announced for the bout between the coaches.
Check out Islam Makhachev’s comments on Conor McGregor below (starting at the 22:57 mark):
Conor McGregor’s return: Islam Makhachev says he would face ‘The Notorious’ for lightweight title
Despite winning just one fight since 2016, Conor McGregor’s massive star power likely has him one win away from a title opportunity. Islam Makhachev, who currently holds the lightweight title, was recently asked whether or not he is willing to face the former double champ if he is able to defeat Michael Chandler, responding:
“Why not? Some fighters have to be stupid to say not. It’s 100 percent the big money fight. Now, everybody knows he’s not in shape. A** beating, make money, be happy. We’ll be getting more big parties.”
While many will question whether or not McGregor is deserving of the opportunity to fight for a belt, his massive drawing power affords him opportunities that are not available to most fighters as he is able to generate revenue for the promotion. Additionally, facing ‘The Notorious’, who has headlined the six biggest-selling pay-per-view events in UFC history, generates opponents the biggest payday of their careers.
Check out Islam Makhachev’s comments on Conor McGregor below (starting at the 23:50 mark):