Conor McGregor just revealed that he'll be facing Michael Chandler on June 29, 2024, during International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
McGregor hasn't fought since his loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. He couldn't fight Chandler in 2023 because he didn't join the USADA testing in time. The rules require two negative samples over six months before competing, so McGregor entered the testing pool to aim for a return at UFC 300.
Dana White ruled out a return on that card, hinting at a summer date. Now it's official, and Chandler is the opponent. They've been linked for a fight since their time as rival coaches on the TUF 31 series. Chandler's team won more matches, but McGregor triumphed in the coach-versus-coach challenge, setting the stage for a significant showdown.
On New Year's Eve, McGregor shared a video online, announcing his comeback to the octagon against Chandler in a middleweight bout during International Fight Week on June 29 in Las Vegas.
The following footage shows McGregor with a wine glass in his hand. He can be heard saying the following as Chandler responded in kind.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a Happy New Year to you all. I’d like to announce the return date for myself, the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, the greatest comeback of all time will take place in Las Vegas for International Fight Week, June the 29th… and the opponent, Michael Chandler. And the weight, Mr. Chandler, 185 pounds,” McGregor
I always said I wanted you at your biggest, your baddest and your best. 185 would look good on me.— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 31, 2023
Even though the official confirmation from the promotion is pending, Chandler is getting ready for the date. "In camp...woke up feeling dangerous," Chandler mentioned on X.
On Instagram, Chandler posted a picture from his walkout at UFC 281, starting with the date June 29, 2024, followed by a brief message.
“Patience that produced impending pandemonium,” Chandler wrote. “Buckle up boys and girls. Walk on. See you at the top!”
Chandler has been eager for this matchup since coaching against McGregor on "The Ultimate Fighter 31." His last fight was at UFC 281 in November 2022, where he was submitted by Dustin Poirier. Interestingly, Poirier was also McGregor's last opponent, but McGregor has been out of action due to a broken leg suffered in their third bout at UFC 264 in July 2021.
After their time on TUF, McGregor has hinted at a return multiple times, often teasing Chandler. This made Chandler wonder if the former two-division champion would ever step into the octagon again.
Betting lines for the fight are already out, with McGregor being a slight favorite at -120 over Chandler.