Michael Chandler Stops Dan Hooker Early In Promotional Debut At UFC 257

Michael Chandler predicts a second-round finish over Conor McGregor

The return of former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor has been announced and while it does not yet have a date or location, his upcoming opponent has a prediction. On Saturday morning UFC President Dana White announced that McGregor would coach The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 against former Bellator lightweight champion and former UFC lightweight title challenger, Michael Chandler.

It’ll be the first fight for Conor McGregor since 2021 when he suffered a broken leg injury to Dustin Poirier in the third fight between the two rivals. The win was the second consecutive for Poirier in his head-to-head matchup against the former champion, who has his lone win when the two met back in 2014 when they both competed at featherweight.

Michael Chandler has made the most of his opportunity with the UFC since joining in 2021 when he picked up a first-round knockout victory over Dan Hooker at UFC 257. He would challenge Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title immediately after his promotional debut but came up short in his bid for gold. He would then go on to put on three straight memorable performances in a losing effort against Justin Gaethje, an incredible front kick knockout against Tony Ferguson, and a loss to Dustin Poirier.

Now looking to add Conor McGregor’s name to his list of victories in the UFC, Michael Chandler made it clear what he believes will happen when the two meet later this year. In an interview with ESPN, Chandler said that he knows the fight could go either way given the power that both men possess in their hands.

“If he lands one on the button, it’s going to be a rough night for me. If I land one on the button, it’s going to be a rough night for him. But which one of us can do it?” (H/T MMA Fighting)

While Conor McGregor was known for his predictions and calls of finishing his opponent throughout his meteoric rise through the UFC and crowning himself ‘Mystic Mac’ because of them. Now, ahead of their fight, Michael Chandler has put out his own prediction, coming from ‘Mystic Mike’ who believes it’ll end in the second round.

“I’m going to get in his face, make him take a backwards step right away. He’s going to feel my presence from the very beginning of the fight and then from there wherever the fight takes us. If I want to pick him up and put him down, I can pick him up and put him down and put a beating on him and get a submission that way. I believe I finish Conor in the second round. That’s my ‘Mystic Mike’ take on this, later on this year whenever it is.”

Showing confidence that he can get it done either on the ground or on the feet, Michael Chandler believes his finish over the former UFC two-weight champion will come in the form of a knockout.

“I always visualize a big overhand right or left hook. That’s the shot that I really want to land every single time, and that’s the shot I’ve seen put guys down so many times in my career, put guys down in training, put guys down a million times in my mind. I believe I will wear him down a little bit and land a big shot in the second round and take him out.”

Outside of the intriguing matchup the two men will present inside the UFC Octagon at a later date, it’ll be just as interesting to see what their presence does for The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 and the fighters that they will ultimately coach on the show. Additionally, after two years away from active competition, which version of Conor McGregor will show up opposite of Michael Chandler, the brass and confident trash-talker, or the humble, excited, and respectful competitor.

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Mike Pendleton
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his "On The Mic" podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM's Fight Nation. With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike's work across his multiple outlets. Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310