Yesterday, Chandler made an appearance on The MMA Hour With Ariel Helwani and voiced his frustration at the fact that he has been sidelined as he waits for the McGregor fight to come together.
McGregor, who has been out of the Octagon since July 2021 due to a horrific leg injury, re-entered the USADA drug testing pool back in October, making him eligible to fight as early as April 2024. While the bout is not occurring on the timeline that Chandler had hoped for, this delay does open up the opportunity for it to headline the UFC’s monumental 300th event.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 4, 2023
“Frustrated at times? Absolutely. Annoyed? Maybe a little bit here and there, Because we get that rush, we love fighting, we love competing. I do train a lot so it is hard to train — even me, even being known as the guy who trains a lot and I live this life, it is hard to have your training but not have that carrot dangled in front of you and that light at the end of the tunnel of an actual date. But anybody who has seen all of my fights in the UFC thus far or even the fights before that, I’ve been extremely active over the last 15 years.
“I’ve fought extremely hard. Some very, very tough fights I’ve had since I came into the UFC, especially [since] I fought everybody inside the top five basically. Fights of the Year, Knockouts of the Year, all of those different things. So anytime I find myself being frustrated, I believe I’m always able to go back to my north star that, hey, it’s going to work out the way it’s going to, just like me coming to the UFC. That door stayed closed until it was time for that door to open. The door opening for this fight with Conor, whenever it’s finally supposed to be, it will be, and I’m just being at peace in the midst of the waiting.”
-Michael Chandler via The MMA Hour
Due to the delays, 2023 was Chandler’s least active year since the start of his MMA career, but this is the fight he has been hoping for since his UFC debut in January 2021, so the wait is likely to be worth it.