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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Michael Chandler: Conor McGregor ‘trying to wait me out’ to get easier fight like Nate Diaz

Michael Chandler is starting to cast doubt on Conor McGregor ever fighting him.

Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has been patient in landing a mega fight with McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) after the pair opposed each other as coaches on Season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter” earlier this year. But stll with no date or venue announced, Chandler wonders if McGregor is tactically dragging out the process so he can avoid the fight.

“I think right now he’s trying to wait me out,” Chandler told Steve-O. “I mean, because if you were him, would you want to wait as long as possible for the guy like me, who’s a real fighter, who wants to be in there, who wants to compete so that I say, ‘Screw it, I’m going to go fight someone else,’ and then he can go fight an easier fight, Nate Diaz. He can go fight an easier fight, Tony Ferguson. He can go find a much easier fight than fighting me.”

McGregor himself recently expressed frustration toward the UFC about his delayed return. The former featherweight and lightweight champion claims he’s been ready to go after recently reentering the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool – which will be replaced by Drug Free Sport International in 2024. “The Notorious” hasn’t competed since breaking his leg in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021.

After all the buildup and the filming of “TUF 31,” Chandler believes McGregor fighting someone else would only tarnish his legacy.

“It looks really bad on everyone’s part if Conor comes back and doesn’t fight me after ‘The Ultimate Fighter,'” Chandler said. “So, Conor can try to come back and act like he runs the show and say, ‘I want to fight this guy, I want to fight that guy,’ which if I was in his position, if I was his manager, I would be trying to do the same thing. Because fighting me is not the smartest fight.”

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