Last Wednesday, as negotiations for the trilogy match between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier were being finalized, the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion proposed via Twitter that the UFC create a specialty event for the occasion, the McGregor Belt. McGregor suggested that the belt be “rose gold and rubies, think Patek rare” but was open to other ideas as well. And now fourth-ranked lightweight contender Michael Chandler wants to fight for it.
Chandler is currently scheduled to face Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 262 next month. Should Chandler win, and should McGregor win his rubber match fight with Poirier this summer, Chandler says the two can have a champion vs. champion bout at the end of the year.
“I love it, man,” Chandler told Helen Yee. “It’s Conor being Conor. Listen, you can say what you want about Conor but the dude’s the biggest combat sports icon on the planet. Not just right now but he has been for a while and he will be for the foreseeable future. I don’t think it is going to happen but I think it’s kind of a cool idea and I love the prospect of him beating Dustin Poirier and me putting my belt on the line, November or December, and him putting the Conor McGregor belt on the line in November or December. I’d love a patek rare belt sitting on my mantle to add to my collection. I want to share the octagon with Conor McGregor sooner or later, eventually before I retire. So we’ll see if it happens after I beat Charles Oliveira. How many fights it will take, we’ll see.”
Of course, thats a lot of moving parts for this dream scenario of Chandler’s. First, he has to win his own bout against the third-ranked Oliveira. Then, the UFC would have to actually make the title for McGregor and McGregor would need to avenge his recent loss to Poirier. That’s by no means a given considering how their fight in January went, with McGregor getting knocked out in the second round, but Chandler believes McGregor has a great chance to get that loss back and then set up the champ-champ fight.
“I think Conor is notorious, for lack of a better word, for making really great adjustments, tweaks to his game plan, tweaks to his approach to the game,” Chandler said. “There’s not many more bright minds in the sport than Conor McGregor. I think he’s got some of the highest fight I.Q. in the lightweight division for sure and there’s just a couple little tweaks that he needs to make to his game that he goes out there and he beats Poirier.
“The other thing about Poirier, Poirier had nothing to lose in the last fight. He had nothing to lose. Now he’s got kind of something to lose because he had the opportunity to fight me or Charles for the title and he said no, he wanted to fight Conor. So you pass up on a title fight to fight Conor, there’s a lot of pressure that goes along with making that decision. So we’ll see how it plays out but I think Conor makes some adjustments and at least looks a lot better in this next fight. I’m not saying he’s gonna get the win but he’s in a better position now that he was back in January when they fought.”
Specialty belts have become all the rage in MMA over the past few years, since the UFC co-opted Nate Diaz’s “Baddest Motherf***er” idea to create the BMF title. Since then, numerous fighters have suggested other belts and titles for the UFC to create, but it all traces back to when McGregor was champion and fought Diaz in a pair of non-title fights, saying that the belt didn’t matter because fighting him was the prize and he should create his own McGregor belt. Perhaps with other fighters now showing an interest in McGregor’s idea, the UFC may actually do so. Especially if it can set up a champ vs. “champ” fight.
Trilogy. Conor McGregor on a mission to ‘absolutely f*cking destroy’ Dustin Poirier after confirming trilogy is booked.
Bellator’s entire card is on YouTube.
Or here are the highlights if you’d rather.
The Thrill and the Agony preview.
The best of Demetrious Johnson in ONE.
Fighters react to the top knockouts in ONE.
Ngannou talking about boxing.
On to the Next One. Matchmaking for Bellator following Bellator 255.
Severe MMA. Discussing Diaz-Edwards, Poirier-McGregor III, and Bellator.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
It’s Easter so of course Adam and I had to bring you another iconic mma moment in egg form (thanks for the idea @BlackEagleMMA) I did @dc_mma and Adam did @joerogan & @Jon_Anik. What should we do next year? #UFC248 #MMA #UFC #EasterEggs #TheOnlyEastereggsHardEnoughForTheUFC pic.twitter.com/5jdvRUgt8l— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) April 5, 2021
Happy Easters!!!! Take no Prisoners!!!! pic.twitter.com/Yu3a77tSqf— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) April 4, 2021
Hey @rakic_ufc Easy fight because I did not ko your ass! I understand that when that doesnt happen it is already a victory for my opponents!— Thiago Marreta (@TMarretaMMA) April 4, 2021
I really respect you Thiago, but when was the last time you knocked someone out by walking backwards fearing for your life to be able to leave with both knees attached? https://t.co/MB6zKH5p7z— Aleksandar Rakic (@rakic_ufc) April 4, 2021
You got something in your teeth, ex-champ. https://t.co/HUBQsOtJts— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) April 3, 2021
Yep it’s a bit of disgust from watching you fake your way to a Title. You Oscar winner https://t.co/GTflPJhdyf— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) April 4, 2021
I learned from the best. “Champ”.— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) April 4, 2021
I would respond to this but you’ll fake a concussion. https://t.co/hvXVEg0M9S— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) April 4, 2021
I think my head hurts from reading this— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) April 4, 2021
Chan Sung Jung (16-6) vs. Dan Ige (15-3); UFC Fight Night, June 19.
Dustin Poirier (27-6) vs. Conor McGregor (22-5); UFC 264, July 10.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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