Michael Chandler promises Conor McGregor fight is happening but ‘a lot of complicated stuff happening’

    Michael Chandler is still waiting to fight Conor McGregor.

    Chandler-mania ran wild at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Monday Night Raw this week (Feb. 19, 2024). The former three-time Bellator Lightweight champion attended the event in Anaheim, California, which led to some rare microphone time for an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter on WWE programming. Well, maybe not anymore after the companies recently merged.

    Therefore, it allowed Chandler to cut a quick promo on his expected next opponent, McGregor, where he told him to make the fight official. McGregor, 35, teased the match up for International Fight Week in a Middleweight contest in June 2024. UFC CEO, Dana White, has since pushed back on that notion on multiple occasions, leaving everything up in the air.

    “There’s a lot of complicated stuff happening behind the scenes,” Chandler said on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Junkie). “Nobody’s had to feel like they’ve waited longer than me, right? I’ve been ready to fight since right after The Ultimate Fighter. But I also understand the time off has been good. The time with my family has been good. Business has been booming outside of me fighting in the cage for a paycheck. But ultimately, Conor’s got his stuff going on. He’s now promoting Road House that’s coming out in March.

    “Obviously there was the USADA stuff, and then now the new drug testing stuff,” he continued. “There was just all these different layers. Plus what Dana has said, money complicates things. There’s a lot of money involved in this fight. There’s a lot of money in Conor’s camp outside — what he has built and what he has amassed. Everybody, whether you love him or hate him, you’ve got to respect what the man has built, right? So it has complicated things.”

    The fight’s delay has led to an impromptu hiatus for the always-entertaining Chandler. UFC 281 marks the last time Chandler fought when he lost via a third round rear-naked choke to Dustin Poirier in November 2022 (watch highlights). Despite the absence, patience has been a virtue for “Iron,” and his confidence in things working out is unwavering.

    “Either way, the Chandler train is continuing to move forward and we’re not getting off this train,” Chandler said. “This is the fight that is happening. I can’t tell you the date. I can’t tell you a weight. But I can tell you the fight is happening. I have way too many assurances that this fight is happening to think otherwise.”

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