Why Michael Chandler believes he could ‘absolutely outclass’ Conor McGregor at UFC 303

Michael Chandler does not expect Conor McGregor to be the same fighter at UFC 303.

Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) welcomes McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) back in a welterweight bout June 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+). McGregor will return after suffering a horrific leg break in a TKO loss to Poirier in July 2021, and Chandler thinks he’ll be facing a diminished version of him.

“What I need to work on in this fight is to continue to be the best version of myself, maybe a little bit more tactical,” Chandler said on “The Shawn Ryan Show.” “Realizing that I’ve earned this, realize that I am a better fighter, a tougher fighter, and the guy who deserves it more. Whether that be getting in his face, put him up against the cage, picking him up, putting him down, welting his spirit a little bit more, taking the wind out of his sails a little bit more.

“I don’t need to get into a firefight with a guy who has got a bigger rifle than me. I think I hit harder than he does. His time out of the cage has lent itself to his timing not being what it used to be, his movement not being what it used to be, his reflexes not being what they used to be. He’s been out of the cage three years by the time we fight. …Go out there and get the finish and just absolutely outclass and dominate him.”

Chandler will also return from a long layoff. Chandler hasn’t competed since a November 2022 submission loss to Dustin Poirier, and hasn’t won a fight since knocking out Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 in May 2022.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie