Michael Chandler is set to take on Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 in November. Chandler seemed like an option to fight Conor McGregor, who last competed at UFC 264, where he broke his leg in a matchup against Poirier.
He recently revealed that he believes that he remains one of the top options for McGregor’s return fight.
Michael Chandler enters UFC 281 coming off of a vicious front-kick knockout of Tony Ferguson. Dustin Poirier, on the other hand, is coming off of a title fight loss to Charles Oliveira, where he was submitted in the third round. Both fighters will be looking to enter the title picture with a victory.
While speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Chandler revealed that during his UFC 276 altercation with Poirier, he wasn’t considering a fight with the No.2-ranked lightweight, stating:
“At that point in time, I wasn’t necessarily interested in fighting Dustin. I was waiting to see when Conor was coming back, what that was looking like, because obviously I think I’m one of the guys who’s in the front running for that fight because it would be such a big, exciting fight, but obviously the cards fell where they are and now we get to look forward to Madison Square Garden November 12th.”
Helwani asked Chandler how he felt about the potential McGregor fight falling through, to which the No.5-ranked lightweight responded by stating:
“Yeah, I’ve said this numerous times too, you never get your hopes up for a Conor fight. With the landscape of mixed martial arts, where Conor is, his last couple of fights, obviously coming off of a really bad injury, and also him earning the right to pick and choose when and where he fights, and how often he fights… he’s got a ton of options so I didn’t really get too high on it. I didn’t really put my faith in that fight actually happening even though there was some good momentum and there still is some good momentum. I still got my sights set on becoming world champion.”
Watch Michael Chandler’s full interview on The MMA Hour below:
Michael Chandler has previously called out Conor McGregor
Michael Chandler used his post-fight interview following his UFC 274 knockout of Tony Ferguson as an opportunity to call out Conor McGregor. He even suggested that the fight take place at welterweight, as McGregor is likely done fighting at lightweight.
Conor McGregor responded by sharing that he would be willing to fight Michael Chandler in a since-deleted tweet. McGregor noted that he would ‘have a nice knock off’ Chandler and that it would be a ‘firework spectacle’.
Chandler has previously shared that while he would like to fight McGregor, he knows that the former double champ has plenty of options. Instead, he will look to defeat Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 before potentially focusing on a fight with McGregor.