Lightweight may have it’s next big match up for the new year after Conor McGregor verbally agreed to fight Michael Chandler in 2022.
Chandler was involved in the fight of the night, and one of the best fights of the year, at UFC 268 as he dropped a unanimous decision to Justin Gaethje to make it back-to-back defeats in the UFC.
McGregor is currently recovering from his broken leg suffered at UFC 264 as he fell to Dustin Poirier for a second time in a row at the event.
But despite the defeat on Saturday night, it seems that Chandler already has his eye on his next bout and called out McGregor on Twitter in a respectful manner on Monday.
Chandler posted a tweet that simply said ‘2022’, with a photoshopped image of himself and McGregor facing off.
With the internet buzzing about the potential match-up, McGregor logged in to verbally accept the bout. He said in a response, “I’m down at some stage for sure. Great fight the other night Mike, congrats!”
McGregor and Chandler both fought on the UFC 257 card in January, with Chandler earning a debut win against Dan Hooker via first-round knockout while ‘Notorious’ was stopped by Poirier in the second round.
The Irishman has made it clear that he wants to fight Poirier again once he is medically cleared from his freak injury, although the Louisiana native could be the lightweight champion at that point as he challenges for the belt at UFC 269 next month.
That would make an immediate rematch difficult for the UFC to make, with the likes of Justin Gaethje and Islam Makhachev both very deserving of a title fight in their own right.
It would allow the UFC to enter McGregor back into contention, with a win over Chandler likely allowing him to leapfrog some big names to set up the fight because of his status.
But after back-to-back defeats for both guys, this is a fight that would make a lot of sense for both and would absolutely get the fans excited.