Michael Chandler trivs bra med Conor McGregor, men han njuter uppenbarligen av möjligheten att gå en match mot den tidigare tvåfaldiga UFC-mästaren.
Michael Chandler berättar om den skiftande dynamiken med Conor McGregor
Snart kommer fansen att få gott om tillfällen att se Michael Chandler och Conor McGregor utbyta verbala stötar (och kanske till och med fysiska) när The Ultimate Fighter 31 har premiär på tisdagskvällen. UFC-stjärnorna kommer att agera som tränare i programmet och förväntas senare i år mötas i en welterviktsmatch vid ett ännu icke fastställt datum.
I en video på YouTube berättade Chandler mer om hur dynamiken mellan honom och McGregor utvecklades under inspelningen.
It’s been all over the internet, obviously you guys saw the push, the shove, the face shove heard around the world, saw around the world, and the ‘You’ll do what you’re told’ line that Conor has already put out. … Conor McGregor and I, I think have a pretty good relationship. As good of a relationship as you can for a guy whose face you want to rip off. He is a tough competitor. He is a guy who is confident and believes in himself more than anybody that you may see out there. That’s how he carries himself, that is his brand, that is ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, that is his full-on persona.
So ultimately, he looks at me as a threat because we’re going to fight each other. He looks at me as a threat on this show, he doesn’t want to lose, he wants Team McGregor to win. He’s got his guys that he has built bonds with. Maybe I beat one of his guys, what does that well up inside of him? What kind of anger does that well up inside of him? Maybe his guy beats my guy. What kind of pride and braggadocious confidence and really throw salt in the wound does that well up inside Conor, because Conor’s good at all of that stuff?
Chandler har bjudit på stor underhållning sedan han gick med i UFC år 2021 och har hittills blivit belönad med Fight of the Night-bonusen samt två Performance of the Night-bonusar under endast fem framträdanden i organisationen. Den trefaldige Bellator-lättviktsmästaren har dock stått för blandade resultat och har bara mäktat med 2-3 i dessa matcher, men de krig han har utkämpat mot elitfighters har fortsatt att göra honom populär bland fansen och UFC:s ledning.
Han är också känd för att vara en av de mer självsäkra fighters framför mikrofonen vilket hjälpte honom att hantera McGregor i TUF 31.
Conor likes to talk, he likes to get in your head. Conor likes to be the guy who establishes dominance both physically, the way that he stands the way that he walks, but also linguistically. The things that he says, the verbal jiu-jitsu, if you will. So Conor and I had our moments, both up and down, a lot of respect. I think I respect the heck out of him as competitor, I think he respects me as a competitor. He said some complimentary things about me, I say complimentary things about him as well.
We’ve also said where we are very bold in our prediction. He believes that he’s going to slice right through me. He believes that he’s a little bit too spicy, a little bit too dicey. I said I’m going to bludgeon him with my hands. I think my Mystic Mike prediction is that I knock him out in the second round. I go out there, I get in his face, I put the foot on the gas early as I always do. I believe I wear him down in the first and he wilts and I knock him out in the second.
Känner mycket respekt för McGregor
När deras match så småningom blir officiell ska det dock inte förväntas att Chandler kommer att bjuda på särskilt mycket mer trash talk eftersom det verkar som att hans erfarenhet med McGregor överlag varit positiv.
Ultimately, it all boils down to there’s a lot of respect between Conor and I, but that doesn’t mean that we have to like each other at every turn. We could have a really great day and then the next day it’s like, ‘Hey man, it’s fight day. Don’t talk to me.’ ‘Hey man, I’m dealing with this with my guy, don’t talk to me.’
So it was a season that had so many different scenarios that made you act differently than you might have thought you would and that was kind of my big thing going into it. I don’t know how I’m going to react, respond, and what you saw in some of these teasers was us responding or us reacting in a certain way and it’s all water under the bridge and we had a good time.
Premiären av TUF 31 sändes natten till idag.
Båda herrarna kommer att kliva in i matchen med förluster mot Dustin Poirier i baken där McGregor blivit avslutad via TKO i juli 2021 och dessförinnan via knockout i januari i samma år. Chandler blev i sin tur submittad av Poirier via rear-naked-choke i november vid UFC 281.