Michael Chandler revealed his plan of action to defeat Conor McGregor when the latter makes his long-awaited return to the octagon later in 2023. 

McGregor's return will come only after the pair finish coaching the upcoming 31st season of Ultimate Fighter. 

And Chandler remains confident of his chances against the UFC's poster boy, forecasting that the fight will not get past the second round. 

The Irish MMA star has reportedly not yet re-enrolled in the USADA testing pool despite the announcement of his return, with all fighters required to complete the UFC's six-month anti-doping programme before bouts.

With both known for starting fights at an electric pace, Chandler did not anticipate a change in tact from his opponent, and indicated that he would also be unlikely to ease himself into the welterweight showdown either.

'Conor and I both start extremely fast,' the American three-time Bellator lightweight champion began.

'That cage door closes, Bruce Buffer announces us, that bell dings and we both try to meet in the center of the octagon trying to make the other guy take a backwards step first.

'Conor more in a larger, wider, take-up-more-space stance, to kind of project that domineering spirit of himself.

'Me more like a missile coming at you, making you feel my presence right away, I want to get my hands on you.'

However, although the 36-year-old was confident that he would come out on top, he remained pragmatically cautious of The Notorious' infamous speed on the counter.  

'If he lands one on the button, it's going to be a rough night for me.

'If I land one on the button, it's going to be a rough night for him, but which one of us can do it?'

But he believes that the way to negate the Irishman's speed is to 'get in his face' and bring the fight to him, vowing he would make McGregor 'feel my presence'. 

'I'm going to get in his face, make him take a backwards step right away,' continued Chandler.

'He's going to feel my presence from the very beginning of the fight and then from there wherever the fight takes us.

'If I want to pick him up and put him down, I can pick him up and put him down and put a beating on him and get a submission that way.

'I believe I finish Conor in the second round.

'That's my 'Mystic Mike' take on this, later on this year whenever it is.'

Chandler's fighting style draws on his wrestling prowess, and he is expected to take advantage of his grappling ability in the mouth-watering encounter. 

Yet it is with his hands that he envisages himself beating McGregor, and it is with a 'big shot' in the second round that he will halt the two-time champion's search for a victorious return to the octagon.

'I always visualize a big overhand right or a left hook.

'That's the shot that I really want to land every single time, and that's the shot I've seen put guys down so many times in my career, put guys down in training, put guys down a million times in my mind.

'I believe I wear him down a little bit and land a big shot in the second round and take him out.'

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2023-02-07T18:01:45Z dg43tfdfdgfd