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Prioritizing action above all else seems to be paying off for Michael Chandler.
The former Bellator champion crossed over to the Octagon late in his professional career, but he’s put the pedal to the floor since then. As a result, he’s scored a pair of tremendous knockout wins, but Chandler has also lost a trio of fights. Those defeats have largely removed him from the Lightweight title picture, but as Dustin Poirier’s decision-making demonstrated last year, a fight with Conor McGregor is a more valuable than a UFC title.
Recent news reveals Chandler as the “likely” next-in-line foe for McGregor’s return. He’s been angling for the fight for some time, and while it’s not yet fully confirmed, Chandler shared his reaction to the news with MMA Junkie, as well as his overall approach to securing a fight with the sport’s biggest star.
“Obviously Dana’s on board with it, I think the UFC’s on board with it – I do think Conor’s on board with it,” Chandler told . “We’ve seen our interactions in the past. You’re not going to see me out here badmouthing him, mother-effing him, and tweeting him and all that stuff. That’s not my style. I’ve always been respectful of Conor. I’ve always said the sport of mixed martial arts is better when Conor is in it, so let me be the other guy on the other side of the octagon.”
Another relatively recent wrinkle to McGregor’s return fight is the news that he removed himself from the USADA testing pool while in recovering from his shattered leg. Inflated muscles and some strange comments from McGregor himself have fueled wild speculation about what exactly the Irish star has put into his body in recent months, but Chandler remains unconcerned. He trusts USADA’s process, and he’s happy to bulk up to 170-pounds to meet McGregor at Welterweight.
“Let’s be honest: I fought outside the UFC for most of my career,” Chandler said. “I’ve never once been worried about if a guy has been using anything whatsoever. I will say it’s just downright false that USADA – are people going to scrutinize things and look at things through a microscope and comb through it with a fine-tooth comb and say, ‘USADA could to this better, USADA could do that better’ – absolutely. But overall, we can be tested at any time, any place, anywhere. Our whereabouts are on our phones at all times. Is it a perfect system? No. Will it ever be perfect? Absolutely not. Do I have any concerns whatsoever, absolutely not.
“Then also the guy comes back and he’s six months in the USADA testing pool getting tested six times, 12 times, five times, two times – it doesn’t matter. He’s in the pool for that amount of time, six months is half a year. It’s a long time. So, I have no concerns. I’m not that worried about it, honestly. I’ve wished Conor a speedy recovery from the beginning. It’s not like he sprained his ankle. It’s not like he broke his hand, it’s not like he broke his nose. The guy shattered his leg. So I hope he’s doing well on it, hopes he’s recovering well. He looks big, tanned and jacked and I would love to fight him at 170. Let’s do it.”
Apparently, the war between Kevin Holland and Stephen Thompson resulted in broken hands for both men, not just “Trailblazer.”
Out of surgery. All good. Just gotta figure out how to roll a blunt one handed……
— Kevin Holland (@Trailblaze2top) December 9, 2022
No, I haven’t figured out the rules, but I like that the referee appears to just be some dude in an Adidas track suit.
One of those match ups that is pretty much guaranteed to be a back-and-forth slugfest.
Al Iaquinta with a highly believable story about The Liver King.
If you thought liver king was natty you’re shot BUT a fun fact you may not know is that I sat behind him UFC 280 weigh ins and he smelled like absolute dog shit… guy must not have showered all year, absolute nerd.
— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) December 7, 2022
Curtis Blaydes isn’t happy with the updated UFC rankings.
Matt Brown with a cool write up about training in Cuba:
Prediction: Paddy Pimblett and Ilia Topuria are going to jaw at each other for years without actually fighting.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
SLAMMING OUT OF BACK MOUNT FINALLY WORKED!
This man literally never once tried to fight the hands, that’s crazy.
Sweet sprawl and counter wrestling by UFC vet Kai Kamaka!
This cat is up for adventure.
Midnight Music: Blues, 1957
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.