Michael Chandler calls for 2022 return against Conor McGregor following UFC 268 loss

Michael Chandler
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

Off the back of an as guaranteed barnburner with former interim lightweight champion, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje at UFC 268 on Saturday, one-time title challenger, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler has set sights on snapping his two-fight losing skid against former two-weight gold holder, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor next year. 

Opening the main card of UFC 268 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, former three-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion, Chandler fell to his second UFC loss since his move to the organization last year — turning in a Fight of the Year contender against the aforenoted, Gaethje over the course of three grueling rounds. 

The loss came as Chandler’s second consecutively this year — after he was catapulted into a vacant lightweight title fight against current division kingpin, Charles Oliveira back in May at UFC 262, having landed in the organization with a fierce first round knockout of Dan Hooker at UFC 257 in January on ‘Fight Island’.

Making his promotional bow in the pay-per-view curtain-raiser of this year, the Sanford MMA trainee co-headlined beneath the above-mentioned, McGregor, who himself is in the midst of a two-fight losing skid — having suffered back-to-back stoppage defeats against former interim lightweight titleholder and incoming UFC 269 headliner, Dustin Poirier. 

Requiring transportation following his Fight of the Night performance against Gaethje, Chandler has outlined his intentions to return to the Octagon next year in a bid to snap his two-fight losing run. And is currently entertaining a comeback fight against Crumlin native, McGregor.

Posting on his official Twitter account, Chandler shared a fanmade staredown picture of him and the aforenoted, McGregor with the caption reading, “2022“.

At the time of publication, McGregor is currently recovering from a surgical procedure to address a fracture of his left tibia suffered in his UFC 264 first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Poirier back in July, but has recently shared training footage of him hitting pads in his home gym. 

The 33-year-old is currently preparing for a December charity wheelchair boxing match back home, and off the back of his fellow Dubliner, Ian Garry’s first round knockout victory over Jordan Williams in his promotional debut on Saturday — McGregor has expressed his interest in participating in a second attempted iteration of an Irish takeover of the organization. 

Quickly replying to the Missouri native, McGregor praised Gaethje’s showing against Chandler on Saturday — as well as maintaining he was similarly interested in sharing the Octagon some night.

I’m down at some stage for sure,” McGregor replied. “Great fight the other night Mike [Michael Chandler], congrats!

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