Michael Chandler unconcerned by Conor McGregor’s trash talk ahead of potential UFC clash
Chandler debuted in the UFC in January, on the undercard of McGregor’s second fight against Dustin Poirier.
On that night, Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round, but he has since suffered back-to-back losses. In his second UFC fight, the 35-year-old almost stopped Charles Oliveira in the first round but was finished early in the second with the vacant lightweight title on the line . Then, in early November, Chandler lost to Justin Gaethje via decision in a fight of the year contender .
It didn’t take the former Bellator lightweight champion long to target a fresh opponent, with Chandler tweeting a fake image of a staredown between himself and McGregor – the caption simply reading “2022”.
McGregor responded positively to the tweet, agreeing to a future match-up against Chandler, who was asked about the prospective contest on ESPN’s DC & RC show this week. In particular, he was asked whether former dual-weight champion McGregor could use trash talk to coax a different side out of the usually amiable Chandler.
“You might see a different side of me,” Chandler said, “but chances are… I think I’m pretty good at using my vocabulary and my linguistic jiu-jitsu to wrap guys up in some words that they may not understand, without having to really take to base-level assaults or talking about different things that are gonna be damaging to a guy’s reputation, if you will.
“I respect Conor for what he’s done, I respect Conor as a fighter, and I even respect his trash-talk game.
“It’s something that... as we said, big fights, big opponents, and big stages. And it just gets bigger and bigger with every single conversation that gets had. Every single social media post, and every single moment that he and I would be on the microphone.”
McGregor last fought in July, suffering a broken leg at the end of the first round of his trilogy bout with Poirier. He is expected back in the ring in summer of next year .
“He needs to heal up, I need to heal up,” Chandler said.
“We’ll see if that fight happens. If it does, it’s definitely gonna be fireworks inside the Octagon, and I guarantee I can carry my weight outside the Octagon on the microphone.”