Michael Chandler is confident of his chances against any other lightweight in the world — including Conor McGregor.
Chandler made it five wins in his last six with an impressive first-round knockout of Benson Henderson at Bellator 243 on Friday night.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) August 8, 2020
Being the final fight of his Bellator contract, it was the ideal way for him to further increase his value in potential free agency.
And for many observers, the time is right for the three-time Bellator lightweight champion to finally join the UFC, especially as he has long been seen as one of the top fighters to have never competed for the Las Vegas-based promotion.
There would certainly be a number of great matchups for him should that come to fruition. Of course, one fighter nearly everyone wants to face is McGregor and while Chandler respects what the Irishman has done for the sport, he still believes the former two-weight UFC champion is not as good as he thinks he is.
“I do believe it’s myself,” Chandler told reporters after the win when asked how a fight with McGregor would go. “But the thing about Conor McGregor is I’ve always loved what he has done with the sport. I’ve never once hated on him. In the very beginning, I did say he’s not as good as he thinks he is, but he’s better than we think he is and he continued to prove that.
“I still don’t think he’s as good as he thinks he is, but that’s a testament to his self-belief, you know? If all of us had a little bit more self-belief like Conor McGregor, life would be a little bit different and we’d look at life through a different lens.”
That said, Chandler envisions getting the finish in under two rounds as he sees himself breaking McGregor in a potential fight.
“As far as that fight goes, I finish Conor in under two, in my opinion,” he added. “It’d be similar to, shades of [Nate] Diaz 1. Wear him down, hit him with hard shots. hard, hard shots. Take every single one of his shots.
“He’s got that sneaky and strong and thick and hard left hand that he throws, and it’s straight. You avoid that, wear him down a little bit, make him see Jesus. Just put him out.”
While McGregor vs. Chandler seems highly unlikely in reality, anything can happen in this sport — especially if the latter does end up signing with the UFC.