Daniel Cormier: ‘Right place, right time’ for Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler to be UFC’s first 165lb title fight

By Curtis Calhoun - April 22, 2024

UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier thinks Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler could make history in more than one way.

Daniel Cormier, Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler

McGregor will make his long-awaited UFC return at UFC 303 against Chandler on June 29th. He and Chandler will finally meet in the Octagon after they clashed as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31 last year.

McGregor vs. Chandler is expected to be one of the biggest fights of 2024. McGregor hasn’t fought since suffering a leg injury at UFC 264, and Chandler hasn’t competed since a loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 281.

During McGregor and Chandler’s hiatus, conversations surrounding weight-cutting and potentially adding new UFC divisions have ramped up. As of this writing, the UFC hasn’t announced any plans to add divisions.

But, Cormier believes that McGregor vs. Chandler should be for a belt and that UFC 303 would be an ideal opportunity to introduce a new weight class.

Daniel Cormier advocates for UFC 303 to kickoff 165lb division

During a recent episode of Good Guy/Bad Guy with Chael Sonnen, Cormier explained why launching a 165lb division with McGregor vs. Chandler makes sense.

“A lot of time it comes down to being at the right place, at the right time,” Cormier began. “Going back to me, they had no intent of giving me my first championship opportunity. But when Alexander Gustafsson got hurt, I stepped in, and I never left the title picture after. I was reliable. They could always call me and say ‘Hey, you want to fight this guy for the belt?’…

“Under the right circumstances, sometimes these things happen faster…I believe that if they’re going to do a 165lb division, it should have a name attached to the weight class that is so big, that it draws people’s attention,” Cormier continued. “Conor McGregor being that name. Michael Chandler, on the other hand, will benefit from being in the right place at the right time, whereas these guys would then fight for the ‘super lightweight’ championship. That’s what I believe it is, and it’s only 10 pounds heavier than 155. Move 170 to 175, move 185 to 195, keep 205, keep heavyweight.”

The UFC hasn’t added a new weight class since the addition of the women’s featherweight division. The division was closed last year following Amanda Nunes’ retirement.

McGregor vs. Chandler will be contested at 170lbs. McGregor hasn’t fought at welterweight since knocking out Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.

Cormier’s comments aren’t necessarily an indication of a pending UFC announcement, but McGregor vs. Chandler could feature more than solely bragging rights on the line.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Conor McGregor Daniel Cormier Michael Chandler UFC