Michael Chandler is confident of beating Charles Oliveira in their lightweight title fight in the UFC 262 main event on May 15th. And predicts that his first title defence will be against Conor McGregor.
Chandler made a thunderous start to his UFC career at UFC 257 in January, finishing Dan Hooker in the very first round. Oliveira most recently beat Tony Ferguson via a one-sided unanimous decision at UFC 256, improving to eight wins in a row. With the UFC finally making Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement official, the two will fight for the vacant title.
The UFC is also targeting the trilogy between Dustin Poirier and McGregor in the UFC 264 main event on July 10th.
Chandler vs McGregor?
Speaking to ESPN, Chandler predicted that he will beat Oliveira at UFC 262 and then go on to make his first title defence against McGregor, who the former Bellator champion is picking to beat Poirier in their rubber match.
“I think it’s Conor,” Chandler said. “I think there are a few little things Conor can do to win [the trilogy against Poirier]. So, I think it’s Conor McGregor, later this fall or winter. That’s probably wishful thinking, and if it’s Dustin Poirier, I’m excited about that opportunity as well.
“We’ll see. If I put my money on it, I think it’s Conor. I think he makes small adjustments, gets the win in the trilogy. That’s what I believe.”
Oliveira Tends To Give Up
When asked about his next opponent, Chandler said that Oliveira tends to give up when things don’t go his way, and he’ll be too much to handle for the Brazilian.
“If you look at the [Paul Felder loss in 2017], he tapped to strikes,” Chandler explained. “You look at numerous fights, if he can’t impose his will on you, there comes a point he looks at you and decides, ‘OK, you’ve won this one. I’ll collect half of a paycheque and go home.’ I think there will be multiple moments in this fight that he’ll see it in my eyes, he’ll feel the power I possess, and feel I only get better while he’s on a fast journey straight down to panicking. I think that’s what’s going to happen. We shall see.”
Do you think Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor can win their respective fights and go on to fight for the belt down the road?