At some point in 2023, Conor McGregor is expected to make his long-awaited UFC return against Michael Chandler.
When that fight will take place is still yet to be determined as McGregor seemingly refuses to re-enter USADA’s drug testing pool.
But the pair are expected to face off as coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC since losing to Dustin Poirier in July of 2021. He hasn’t won a UFC Fight since a TKO of Donald Cerrone in January of 2020. But it’s impossible to deny his popularity.
That’s why many believe he could be in line for a shot at Islam Makachev’s UFC lightweight championship if he beats Chandler, who is also coming off a loss to Poirier and has lost three of his last four fights.
That idea didn’t sit well with everyone in company. It particularly irked fellow lightweight Justin Gaethje, who beat Chandler in November of 2021 before losing a title fight against then-champ Charles Oliveira.
Asked about the idea of McGregor getting a title shot should he win, Gaethje said he would “probably” quit the company if that happened.
“Would I quit if Conor won and they gave him a title shot? Probably,” Gaethje said in an interview with ESPN. “That’s how hurt I would be by the actions of the company I represent. But that’s out of my control. I just really hope that doesn’t happen.
“We can imagine a lot of things, but there’s a possibility that that’s the scenario, which I would be devastated, for sure.”
Gaethje makes a fair point. On paper, McGregor has done little to earn a title fight even if he beats Chandler. But as the UFC has show time and again, it doesn’t much matter who deserves what if you can sell a fight. And nobody sells a fight quite like Conor McGregor.