Like most MMA fans, Michael Bisping wants to see Conor McGregor return to face Michael Chandler sooner rather than later. But he appears somewhat skeptical it can happen in 2023.
The former UFC middleweight champion discussed McGregor’s expected bout with fellow The Ultimate Fighter 31 coach Michael Chandler and laid out a potential timeline for the fight, which could be tricky — McGregor isn’t in the USADA testing pool and is required to enroll six months before he competes.
“Where are we at now? May. So six months, you can fight at the end of the year,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “I think the idea was Madison Square Garden [in November], that’s going to be Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, judging by what everybody has been saying online.
“So the final card of the year at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas [in December], they still have seven months for that. So McGregor just has to get into the testing pool. He needs to get off the ... whatever he’s on. He’s got to get off the good stuff, and get back on protein shakes and porridge, and we’ll be good. He’s got to do some work, he’s got to get training, he’s got to get in the gym, he’s got to do everything.”
The proposed bout between McGregor and Chandler is expected to take place at welterweight. The former two-division champion will make his first octagon appearance since suffering a broken leg in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021 — his second consecutive stoppage loss against the former interim champ.
Chandler, a former Bellator lightweight champion, is 2-3 over five fights in the promotion, including a third-round submission loss to Poirier in his most recent outing at UFC 281 this past November.