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Michael Chandler sets sight on Conor McGregor, Charles Oliveira rematch after KO win at UFC 274

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PHOENIX – Michael Chandler wants nothing but big fights.

The former Bellator champion and UFC title challenger already knows what he wants next following his massive knockout win at Saturday’s UFC 274. Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) put Tony Ferguson to sleep in brutal fashion, stopping him with a front kick to the face in the second round of their lightweight contest.

And immediately following the fight, an amped-up Chandler called out Conor McGregor and the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje – which ended up being Oliveira.

Chandler, 36, continues to grow respect for Oliveira and wants a second crack at him after losing by TKO in their vacant lightweight title fight last year.

“Shame on all of us for ever, ever doubting Charles Oliveira,” Chandler told reporters at the UFC 274 post-fight press conference. “Gaethje had him hurt, Oliveira had Gaethje hurt, and when you get on the ground with Charles Oliveira, he’s going to submit you – except for me, I was able to get out of it. But I think, isn’t there something satisfying about watching Charles Oliveira blossom into who he is? …

“I lost to him, but I think we have unfinished business. I got into this sport to become a champion. I got into this sport to wear 12 pounds of leather and gold around my waist, and I would love for it to say UFC on it.”

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Oliveira entered the UFC 274 fight week as champion and was set to make his second title defense on Saturday night. However, Oliveira missed weight on Friday morning by half-a-pound and was stripped of his title. He’s now the No. 1 contender and will fight for the vacant belt against an opponent yet to be determined.

Although Chandler is certainly among the top contenders, Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev are also on long winning streaks and awaiting title shots.

If the title fight rematch against Oliveira doesn’t materialize, Chandler is also interested in mixing it up with the biggest star in the UFC. McGregor is still recovering from a leg injury sustained in July 2021 but is expected to return before the year ends.

“That fight with Conor, I’m serious about it,” Chandler said. “You’re going to be hard pressed to find somebody who doesn’t think I’m one of the most exciting guys on the planet now. I think I’ve proven that numerous times now. Conor needs a big fight to put butts in seats, to sell pay-per-views, and a fight at 170 would be a lot better than 155.”