Michael Chandler wants "electrifying" fight with Conor McGregor on star’s return

Former Bellator lightweight champion and UFC title challenger Michael Chandler has said that he wants an "electrifying" fight with Conor McGregor when the Irishman returns next year.

Chandler is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, having become a Bellator MMA lightweight champion three times over before making the switch to the UFC.

And he blew fans away with his first round KO of Dan Hooker, which was followed up by a back-and-forth title fight with Charles Oliveira earlier this year.

But ahead of his fight with Justin Gaethje, which will likely determine the number one contender to the winner of Oliveira's first defence against Dustin Poirier next month, Chandler has discussed his hopes of a bout with McGregor one day.

“What’s happening inside the lightweight division is awesome. I am proud to represent the lightweight division,” Chandler told Helen Yee Sports.

“There’s no shortage of great fights for me the rest of my career here, so it’s going to be a lot of fun."

There was a time when Chandler reigned supreme in the Bellator lightweight division, while McGregor was top of the heap in the UFC.

And since then, fans have theorised what a potential match between the two would look like if it were to ever take place.

The prospect clearly excites Chandler, who waited until his mid-30s to finally take the plunge and leave Bellator for the UFC.

"I mean, Conor, I hope he heals up pretty well," Chandler continued. "Yeah, there’s a lot of people that have talked about me and Conor fighting for a very long time.

“I do think it will be one of the most electrifying, especially first rounds, ever.

"We will both come in 100 miles an hour and look to see who gets that win, but we'll see and I hope that fight happens sometime."

McGregor's next opponent remains to be seen, as he continues to recover from a broken leg he suffered that cost him the trilogy in his last bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.

Chandler fought Hooker on the undercard of their rematch in January at UFC 257, which Poirier won by knockout in the second round.

And he could make an interesting opponent for McGregor, given their respective histories in the two top promotions in MMA.

The Irishman recently returned to training, showing off his power on the pads after returning home to Ireland where he will continue training for his comeback fight.

He is expected to return in the early part of next year, and has indicated that he feels there is unfinished business between he and Poirier.

But it's highly unlikely that he would be granted a fourth fight with his rival should he win the title, given that McGregor has won just five once in the last five years since becoming the lightweight world champion at UFC 205 in New York.

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