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Michael Chandler Gearing Up for Historic UFC 303 Bout with Conor McGregor

Updated: May 28

Michael Chandler
Black Belt Plus

Despite stepping away from the Octagon since November 2022, Michael Chandler has remained a prominent figure in the UFC landscape. From appearing as a guest at UFC events to coaching the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Chandler has utilized his time away from fighting to explore various endeavors and spend invaluable moments with his family. His journey during this period wasn't just about staying busy; it was a profound exploration of personal happiness and clarity about his passion for the sport.

While coaching TUF against Conor McGregor, Chandler not only demonstrated his prowess in nurturing talent, as his team dominated the quarterfinals and semifinals, but also his psychological strength. Despite McGregor's variable behavior—from showing respect to indulging in trash talk—Chandler maintained his composure, an approach he believes provided him a mental edge.

Chandler's patience was further tested as he awaited a confirmed fight date with McGregor, who was tied up with commitments ranging from his acting debut to floating potential fights with other opponents. Chandler faced criticism about his prime years slipping away as the delay stretched.

However, he stood firm, confident in his path and the magnitude of the potential bout.

Finally, the much-anticipated showdown between Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor was set for UFC 303 on June 29 in Las Vegas. This fight is not just another match for Chandler—it is a pivotal moment in his career, a chance to redefine his legacy and solidify his standing in MMA history.

The fight will take place in the welterweight division, where Chandler feels comfortably at home, negating the severe weight cuts associated with lighter classes. This weight class, according to Chandler, aligns perfectly with his training regimen and dietary needs.

Looking ahead, the fight holds significant implications for Chandler's career. With high-profile lightweight bouts occurring just before UFC 303, including Max Holloway's BMF title win and the upcoming title fight between Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier, Chandler has his sights set on potential future matchups. Should he triumph over McGregor, Chandler has expressed interest in challenging the winner of Makhachev vs. Poirier or taking on Holloway for the BMF belt.

Michael Chandler's narrative is one of resilience and strategic patience. As he prepares to re-enter the fighting arena, his focus is singular: to deliver a performance that reaffirms his status as a formidable contender in the UFC. This bout against McGregor isn't just a fight; it's an emblem of Chandler's fighting spirit and his quest to be undeniably the best.

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