Conor McGregor has recently wrapped up filming the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter. With that out of the way, fans can now look forward to Conor’s return to the Octagon as well. Although there was a lot of chatter about which weight class the bout between Conor and Chandler takes place in, “The Notorious One” has finally added that he will return at welterweight.
Before UFC President Dana White confirmed Conor’s return at TUF 31, fans speculated that Conor will not fight at lightweight anymore. Hence, McGregor’s recent revelation just confirms that theory. But it also raises the question, will Conor get a welterweight title shot off a win against Michael Chandler? While Chandler has never fought at welterweight in the UFC, it looks like Conor is pretty confident about getting the title shot with a win!
During an interview with Ariel Helwani, Conor said, “I’m 170 (lbs) next man.” He continued, “I would like that (a welterweight title shot)… I may be present for the card (UFC 286).”
It looks like Conor McGregor will be in attendance inside the O2 Area in London for UFC 286. In the main event, Leon Edwards will defend his title against Kamaru Usman. If Leon successfully defends his title, a title fight between him and Conor would be a huge event for British MMA fans. But Conor needs to beat Michael Chandler before that.
For their UFC 278 fight, Kamaru earned $500,000, while Edwards earned $350,000. However, if the Conor McGregor fight ends up happening, they would certainly earn much more than any of their previous fight purses. As per MMA Salaries, Usman has earned $9,460,833 in his MMA career with $1.42 million for UFC 251 being his highest fight purse. Edwards, on the other hand, earned $1,466,500 in his MMA career so far.
Conor McGregor gives a timeline for the Michael Chandler fight
Now that fans know Conor McGregor will fight Michael Chandler at welterweight, fans are naturally asking when the fight may take place. The 34-year-old already has several venues across Las Vegas, Texas, and London in mind for the fight. Although Conor did not specifically reveal the date of the fight, he did give the fans a general idea about its timeline.
He added, “You know we’re gearing up, there is a lot going on behind the scenes and all but I feel it will move fast. There is no issue why it shouldn’t move fast. I assume (the Chandler fight will happen) late summer, maybe a little bit later depending (on the result). I would like that.”
Although Conor wants to fight in late summer, it does seem like an obstacle. Conor still has to clear all the USADA thresholds before fighting inside the Octagon. With UFC 290 in July reportedly booked for Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic, It does look like McGregor will have to wait a bit longer for his much-awaited return. However, Conor does not want to wait too long after fighting Chandler either.
While talking to Helwani, Conor spoke about being unable to fight for more than 2 years. The desperation in his voice was clear and Conor even claimed that he is open to fighting more than once in 2023. If he beats Michael Chandler, it would be a spectacular way for UFC to end the year with Conor McGregor challenging for the welterweight title.