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With talk of a potential McGregor vs. Masvidal bout gaining steam since the pair’s recent back-and-forth on social media, White was asked about the matchup ahead of UFC 275, and he revealed that a different name is currently his front-runner to fight McGregor.
“I don’t know. I really like [Michael] Chandler vs. Conor after Chandler’s last fight,” White told TMZ Sports. “There’s plenty of fights to make. I don’t know if [Masvidal vs. McGregor] is the one, but we’ll see what the landscape looks like when Conor comes back.”
“I’m just saying, after his last interview, his last fight, Conor is ranked No. 8, he’s ranked No. 5 — it makes a lot of sense right now,” White added of Chandler.
A former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, Chandler has won just two of his four octagon appearances since signing with the UFC in 2020, however he’s quickly endeared himself to the UFC fan base for his all-action fights and captivating promos. Chandler rebounded from a two-fight slump in his most recent bout, finishing Tony Ferguson with a brutal front kick at UFC 274 that remains one of the front-runners for “KO of the Year.”
McGregor has been sidelined since suffering a broken leg in his July 2021 loss to Dustin Poirier, but is expected to return to action soon.
“He’s getting better,” White said of McGregor. “He’s starting to ramp up his training some more and I’m hoping [he’s ready to return at] the end of this year, early next year.”