If Conor McGregor returned to UFC against Michael Chandler he'd be shunning Mike Tyson's friendly advice
- Conor McGregor has received a legitimate call-out from UFC rival Michael Chandler.
- Should he accept Chandler's challenge, McGregor would be shunning advice from Mike Tyson.
The Irish striker is expected to return to the UFC's Octagon around International Fight Week, which typically takes place in the first week of July at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
It would be McGregor's first bout in the two years he's spent recovering from a broken leg he got during a cataclysmic defeat to Dustin Poirier in 2021, when he delivered an unhinged rant before getting taken to the hospital.
UFC boss Dana White anticipated McGregor's return to ultimate fighting sooner. But the 34-year-old has a busy schedule and has been filming the action movie remake "Roadhouse," which is set for a 2023 release.
As his calendar will free up in the new year, fighters have begun lining up to be his comeback opponent as McGregor's return would likely be a hot ticket both at the gate and the box office.
One athlete who wants to be at the front of the line is Chandler.
"I do think that's the fight to make," Chandler recently told ESPN just days after losing a back-and-forth war against Poirier at UFC 281 earlier this month.
Despite the defeat to Poirier, Chandler lived up to his reputation as one of the UFC's most thrilling fighters as he fish-hooked Poirier and spat blood all over his opponent's face, but lost by submission in the third round.
The stakes would be high in a McGregor vs. Chandler bout at 155 pounds, as both fighters would enter the arena looking to rebound from a loss.
If McGregor fought Chandler he'd ignore the advice Mike Tyson gave him
But if McGregor accepts Chandler's challenge, he'll be shunning the friendly advice that heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson gave him earlier this year.
Speaking in June, Tyson said McGregor should take a few gimme fights in the UFC so he can restore his confidence following a six-year period in which he's scored only one notable win.
"After a defeat, you should do a couple of fights to get your feet wet," said the former world heavyweight champion boxer on "The Fight Card" podcast.
"Conor, I think you should build your confidence up and go do what you do: Win excitingly."
It is unclear who Tyson — a noted MMA fan — had in mind when suggesting gimme fights for McGregor. But Chandler would certainly not fit that bill.
Chandler finished Dan Hooker on his UFC debut in 2021, lost a UFC lightweight title fight to Charles Oliveira in his second bout, and was out-pointed by Justin Gaethje that same year.
In 2022 he rebounded with a knockout win over Tony Ferguson when he rearranged the veteran MMA fighter's face with a front kick, before dropping the submission loss to Poirier.
McGregor might fare better should he shake off the rust against the UFC's No. 15-ranked lightweight
Chandler is ranked the No. 5 contender at 155 pounds, and sixth overall when including the champion Islam Makhachev.
Should McGregor follow Tyson's advice, he'd have to look far lower down the rankings for a potentially easier opponent.
Ferguson, who is ranked No. 15 — just one spot behind McGregor in 14th place — could be the type of gimme fight opponent Tyson had in mind.
Ferguson, like McGregor, is chasing a meaningful win following a succession of losses.
Such a match could be billed as a win-or-go-home type event and still take place on International Fight Week next summer.
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