Conor McGregor, once the biggest name in professional fighting, is currently in the midst of an existential crisis. Becoming increasingly unpopular in his own country, McGregor is also beginning to fade away from the limelight after his injury induced hiatus from the octagon.
The 34-year-old’s recovery from that horrific leg break has reportedly gone well, with McGregor claiming that he is in better shape than ever before. When will we be able to see that for ourselves? Read on to find out everything you need to know about Conor McGregor’s impending return to the UFC.
McGregor’s Comeback Fight
Dana White took to TV recently to announce that Conor McGregor’s comeback fight in the UFC would be against fellow lightweight Mike Chandler.
The two will first face each other as coaches of their respective teams in The Ultimate Fighter before going head to head in the Octagon around the middle of the year. Thus far we have yet to hear McGregor’s thoughts on the fight but Chandler, perhaps unsurprisingly, has taken social media to announce that he is pumped up for the bout.
The decision to fight Chandler in the octagon has not gone down well with some of McGregor’s most vociferous critics, notably Dustin Poirier.
Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler: What to Expect
It’s an intriguing fight if nothing else. Firstly there will be plenty of opportunities for McGregor to flex one of his biggest attributes – his fabled mind games – during the filming of Ultimate Fighter which will undoubtedly add to the spectacle of the fight.
Secondly, from a purely technical level, the bout will see two fighters with similar, but subtly different skillsets going toe-to-toe with each other. McGregor who is known for his quick, incisive and devastating counters will certainly find Chandler to be a tough opponent.
Known for his power and strength, Chandler can also rely on a granite chin that has kept him standing even under some of the heaviest bombardments on offer in the UFC.
The UFC fight night odds will most likely have McGregor as the heavy favourite, but don’t expect Chandler to roll over and let the Irishman tickle his belly.
(It’s official, Conor McGregor will make his comeback against Michael Chandler.)
Looking Beyond Michael Chandler
Whilst Michael Chandler will offer an intriguing challenge for Conor McGregor, it’s not the fight that the fans want to see. UFC lovers will be eager to see McGregor jump in the octagon with big name fighters and those type of bouts could well be on the cards in 2023.
If McGregor makes it through his fight with Chandler unscathed, it seems increasingly likely that he will face the winner of Kamaru Usman – Leon Edwards 3. In the latest fight between those, Edwards upset the odds by knocking Usman out with a kick to head with just a few seconds remaining on the clock.
Whether it be Edwards or Usman that McGregor has to face, he will find himself pushed to the limit against two hardy competitors with strong jaws and real explosive power. If McGregor were to make his way through that fight and it is a big if, we might well see a rematch with Dustin Poirier before the year is out.
Will Conor McGregor Still Be The Same Fighter After His Injury?
The injury that Conor McGregor suffered last time out in the octagon would be enough to put anyone of returning to the world of professional fighting, let alone someone toward the end of their career.
Combine that with the rumours that have abounded about McGregor’s extracurricular activities and it doesn’t paint a flattering picture for the Irishman’s comeback.
At a time when our social media feeds should be flooded with images and videos of McGregor pushing his body to the limit, we are instead seeing him engage in Twitter spats with comedians and former footballers.
Over the Christmas period, McGregor took aim at beloved Irish comedian PJ Gallagher on Twitter, ridiculing him for his struggles with mental health and the breakdown of his relationship with his wife.
He then took aim at former Republic of Ireland international footballer Paul McGrath before posting several pictures of himself enjoying drinks in Dublin and on his private jet. It’s certainly unlike any comeback story we’ve ever heard of before…