Conor McGregor: Michael Chandler is a good fighter, but ‘I’ll slice through him’

Now that he’s finally in Las Vegas and work has gotten underway on “The Ultimate Fighter,” Conor McGregor can start thinking about his own development.

Former UFC two-division champion McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) are set to coach the upcoming Season 31 of the show. And while a fight hasn’t been put on the books yet, the “TUF” coaches traditionally fight at the end of the season.

It wouldn’t be a surprise for McGregor, known for an often brash outside-the-cage persona, to trash talk leading up to the fight with Chandler. But so far, the Irishman is keeping it in check.

“I like Michael,” McGregor told The Mac Life. “… I have no issues with him at all. I think he’s a good fighter. Coaching against him, I’m interested to see his coaching style. He’s more of an athlete type of a guy than a technical martial artist. I know he’s got some skills in the wrestling department, and he’s got some skills overall. But as far as the small, finer details, I’m not sure. I’m interested to see. It’ll be an interesting one to go against him (in coaching) before I go against him (in the fight).”

McGregor, 34, fought in a trilogy bout against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. The fight was stopped after the first round after McGregor broke his leg. He’s been recovering from the injury since then. He took out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to win the featherweight title at UFC 194. Less than a year later, he stopped Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight belt.

But he never defended either title and eventually was stripped of each. The upcoming season of “TUF” will be McGregor’s second stint as a coach on the show. In 2015, he coached opposite Urijah Faber on Season 22, though they didn’t fight at the end.

Chandler, 36, joined the UFC in 2021 after a long run under the Bellator banner. While he’s just 2-3, including a loss in a lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira, he has four post-fight bonuses already.

McGregor’s comments show a level of respect for Chandler, but he also was clear how he thinks he’s going to win when they fight.

“I think I’m just going to slice through him,” McGregor said. “I think I’m a little too slicy, (more) than anyone he’s fought – a little too snappy and whippy. I think I’ll slice through him.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie