Michael Chandler Previews His Fight Against Conor McGregor
Michael Chandler is looking at one of the biggest opportunities of his MMA career as he has been booked to coach ‘The Ultimate Fighter Season 31’ against Conor McGregor. Once the season is completed, the pair will face off in the octagon.
Just hours after the fight was announced, Chandler began to lay out the advantages that he expects to have against McGregor. The most important of those strengths are Chandler’s power and speed.
“Even with him being 170 (pounds), I think I have more power,” Chandler said on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast. “And I do think I’m faster than him, especially because I’m going to be the same body composition I always have been for the last 30 fights, whereas he has a new body composition, which may or may not slow him down a little bit.”Quote via TheScore
The debate over who has more power between Chandler and McGregor is an interesting one. The easiest way to describe it is that Chandler has more raw physical power while McGregor has better timing and accuracy, which results in knockout power as well.
Regardless of how the striking plays out, Chandler will be miles better than McGregor in the grappling realm. Chandler’s wrestling credentials give him an obvious route to success.
“Grappling department, wrestling department, and overall cardio and toughness department – I think I’m better in all areas,” Chandler said. “He’s better at the trash talk, and he’s better at getting in guys’ heads.”Quote via TheScore
Despite acknowledging his strengths, Chandler is not ignorant of the advantages that McGregor will have in their bout.
“When it comes to footwork, angles, reaction time, (and) countershots, Conor is phenomenally better than me at (that),” Chandler said. “When it comes to poise in the big moment, he’s phenomenally better than me at (that). … I’ve fought big fights before – Madison Square Garden, UFC title fights – but this is bigger. And he’s done this 20-something times. I’ve done this zero times.
“Not to mention the pressure, the animosity, the tension, the media obligations, the lead-up. … That’s something (McGregor has) grown accustomed to over all these years, and he’s used to all of that, where I have to navigate that for the first time.”Quote via TheScore
The questions surrounding this fight will have little to do with the strengths or weaknesses that either fight holds. Instead, it will come down to each fighter’s mindset.
Chandler could easily win this fight if he opts to wrestle McGregor. The issue is that Chandler usually opts for a fun fight rather than a smart fight. He could be in trouble against McGregor if he tries to make this a fan-favorite fight. At the same time, there are questions on McGregor’s side. If Chandler makes it a slugfest, will he fight through it, or take the easy way out and quit? Both are possible.
Those questions are exactly what makes this fight interesting. You could make a serious case for both fighters having a shot to win this fight. Throw in the buildup that comes with TUF, Chandler vs. McGregor will a special one.