Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler face off for first time

Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler have faced off for the first time ahead of their UFC clash later this year.

Last week, McGregor and Chandler finished filming the new season of The Ultimate Fighter, but details around their upcoming bout are still unclear, with no date, location or weight class yet confirmed. Furthermore, McGregor is absent from the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s testing pool, creating complications around an in-ring return.

Interest in the fight is increasing, however, and McGregor, 34, took to Twitter on Sunday (19 March) to share photos of his first face-off with Chandler, 36.

“Millions and millions and millions of ppv [pay-per-view] buys,” the Irishman wrote, alongside several photos of himself standing face-to-face with American Chandler.

Chandler previously suggested that his fight with McGregor, the first ever dual-weight UFC champion, could be the ‘biggest UFC PPV we’ve ever seen’.

The highest-grossing event in UFC history saw McGregor main event against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 (2.4million buys), with the Russian submitting “Notorious” in a seismic grudge match to remain lightweight champion.

The second-highest-grossing UFC card was headlined by McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz in 2016 (1.65m), a fight the Irishman won on points, while their first meeting – when Diaz won via submission – ranks at No 4 (1.5m). McGregor’s 13-second featherweight title win over Jose Aldo sits at No 5 (1.4m), while his second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez to become lightweight champion is ranked sixth (1.3m).

McGregor and Chandler have both lost three of their last four fights, though the Irishman remains a draw and Chandler has become a fan favourite since joining the UFC in 2021.

The American’s decision loss to Justin Gaethje in 2022 was widely deemed the fight of the year, and his front-kick knockout of Tony Ferguson last May is considered one of the greatest in UFC history.

Last time out, the former three-time Bellator champion was submitted by Dustin Poirier, who beat McGregor in the latter’s last two fights; in January 2021, Poirier knocked out McGregor, who suffered a broken leg in their next meeting, six months later.

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