UFC’s Michael Chandler on Conor McGregor: ‘I think I am a nightmare’ for him

Michael Chandler knows the biggest fight of his career is potentially looming.

Chandler (21-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his long-awaited UFC debut when he faces Dan Hooker in the co-main event of UFC 257 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, on the same night as the pivotal lightweight headliner between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Considering Chandler served as a backup for 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight with Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, a win over Hooker could very well put him next in line for a title shot.

If both McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Chandler prevail in their respective bouts, a matchup could be imminent and Chandler likes his chances against “The Notorious.”

“Of course I want my name in that storyline,” Chandler told ESPN. “Of course I want my name attached to his. Of course I want that possible fight. Do I think I match up extremely well against Conor? Absolutely.

“With my wrestling background, plus the power in my hands, plus my ability to mix up the striking with the takedowns, plus my ability to push the pace, I think I am a nightmare for Conor, but I respect what Conor is doing. I think Conor is continuing to come into his own.”

With Nurmagomedov retiring, but not vacating his title, the status of the lightweight division remains unclear. UFC president Dana White is scheduled to meet Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, which should help clarify what’s next for the division’s top contenders.

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