"They would have done exactly what I did" - Michael Chandler defends decision of having had to wait for Conor McGregor fight

Michael Chandler defends waiting for Conor McGregor bout at UFC 303 [Image credits: Getty Images]
Michael Chandler defends waiting for Conor McGregor bout at UFC 303 [Image credits: Getty Images]

Michael Chandler is set to make his return to the octagon during International Fight Week in June when he faces Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 303. While much of the focus has been on 'The Notorious' return from a three-year hiatus, 'Iron' will also make his return after over 18 months of inactivity - last competing when he lost to Dustin Poirier via third-round submission at UFC 281 in November 2022.

The No.7-ranked lightweight has faced criticism for sitting out waiting for the bout. He recently responded to that criticism, stating:

"Anybody in the sport of mixed martial arts, whether they are lying to you or not… they would have done exactly what I did. Trust me they’re all full of envy. They can act like they’re tough guys, and they would’ve fought 4 times in the time that I sat out. Maybe I missed out on 1 or 2 fights, but none of them are gonna even hold a candle to what is about to happen June 29th." [h/t Championship Rounds]

Check out Michael Chandler's comments on waiting for Conor McGregor fight below:

Chandler and McGregor coached opposing sides on season 31 of 'The Ultimate Fighter;, which aired from May through August last year. While many expected the bout to come to fruition sooner, the pair are finally set to clash at UFC 303.

Arman Tsarukyan recently called out Michael Chandler for waiting to fight Conor McGregor

Michael Chandler recently questioned Arman Tsarukyan's decision to turn down a title fight against Islam Makhachev at UFC 302. 'Ahalkalakets' fired back by calling out 'Iron's decision to wait to face Conor McGregor, stating:

"I don’t expect you to understand @MikeChandlerMMA . We are not on the same level. I am here to be the champ. You are just waiting for a paycheck. I also don’t understand why you waited Conor fight for 2 years, you could’ve lost 4 exciting fights during that time"

Check out Arman Tsarukyan's response to Michael Chandler below:

While Chandler is correct that the sport moves fast, Tsarukyan competed at UFC 300, defeating Charles Oliveira via split decision. He would have had just seven weeks to prepare to face Makhachev at UFC 302 and instead will likely face the winner of the bout between the champion and Dustin Poirier. Meanwhile, 'Iron's' decision to wait nearly two years to face McGregor was also validated as the pair are set to clash this summer.

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