Michael Chandler has his eyes on Conor McGregor after UFC 268

Daniel Cunningham
MMA, UFC, michael chandler

This past Saturday at UFC 268, we saw a fight that very well might be fight of the year and it lived up to it’s enormous hype. Kicking off the PPV on Saturday was a lightweight showdown between Michael Chandler (22-7) and Justin Gaethje (23-3).

Both men were coming off title losses in their last fights and whoever won this fight was being looked at as a potential number one contender in a stacked lightweight division. Given the styles of both men, this fight at UFC 268 had more hype than any non-title fight I’ve seen in recent memory that didn’t involve Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz.

Somehow, it seemed to even surpass expectations. From the opening bell, these two went right after each other and threw everything they had. In the first round, Chandler was able to rock Gaethje a few times and it looked like he could get a stoppage win.

However, Gaethje weathered the storm then came back strong by dropping and hurting Chandler in the second. The third round showed Chandler just eating everything Gaethje threw and he was throwing heat back. An absolute war at UFC 268 that should be going into the hall of fame one day.

In the end, Justin Gaethje got his hand raised which was the right call. However, this was a fight where there really wasn’t a loser in my opinion. Michael Chandler dropped to 1-2 in the UFC following the loss to Gaethje.

Chandler has his next UFC opponent in mind

Michael Chandler took to Twitter this morning and made it clear what he wants next. With a simple caption of, “2022,” Chandler posted a face off picture with him and former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor (22-6).

McGregor is currently recovering from the broken leg that he suffered back at UFC 264 against Dustin Poirier. The Notorious one is looking to return in the late spring or early summer which aligns when Chandler will likely make his next trip inside the octagon.

While I absolutely love this fight, I’m not sure if the UFC will go in this direction for McGregor. If McGregor wants to get right back in the title picture, Chandler is a great option. However, with anything tied to Conor McGregor, there are a lot of moving pieces.

Another option to watch for Chandler and McGregor for that matter is former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13). The former champion is recovering from knee surgery and aligns perfectly with both men in terms of his spot in the rankings.