UFC’s Dana White confirms Conor McGregor will be fighting Michael Chandler next despite recent comments

MMA: UFC 264-McGregor vs Poirier
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This season on the UFC‘s Ultimate Fighter, Conor McGregor (22-6) and Michael Chandler (23-8) have served as the coaches. They’ve had an interesting dynamic and have had one physical altercation during the filming of the show.

Of course, the coaches of TUF always end up fighting at the end of the season. Only a select few times have the coaches not fought after filming the show together. However, the UFC has always planned on McGregor squaring off against Michael Chandler whenever he returns to the octagon.

That said, recently, McGregor has seemingly changed his turn regarding the fight with Chandler. After Justin Gaethje stopped Dustin Poirier at UFC 291, McGregor started angling for a fight with Gaethje for the BMF title. After initially dismissing it, even Gaethje seemed interested in the potential bout with the promotion’s cash cow.

Many in the industry were wondering if Chandler would get left at the altar while McGregor went on to fight Justin Gaethje. However, after last night’s season debut of the Contender Series, Dana White made it very clear that McGregor will in fact be fighting Michael Chandler next.

UFC’s plans have not changed

White said in his post-fight press conference that he talked to McGregor just a couple of days ago. The former two-division UFC champion is ready to get back in there. White also made it very clear that Michael Chandler and nobody else will be welcoming McGregor back to the octagon.

The promotion had been targeting this fight for December. Both Chandler and McGregor have also hinted that the December PPV will be when they square off. However, McGregor is still not in the USADA drug testing pool and usually fighters are required to be in for six months before competing.

Now, the UFC has worked around this before. They got Brock Lesnar into UFC 200 on short notice. Of course, Lesnar ended up popping for an illegal substance but it wasn’t made public until after the fight and his win over Mark Hunt was turned into a No Contest.

My guess is that the promotion is going to find a workaround in order to make the fight happen. If it doesn’t happen in December, McGregor and Chandler will likely headline the first PPV of 2024.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: