The current Bellator lightweight champion shared why his first-hand experience with his UFC equivalent leads him to believe that Conor McGregor will suffer his second loss in three fights next month.
Michael Chandler has shared nine rounds of action with Eddie Alvarez on two separate occasions, with the duo splitting the conflict one fight apiece. Both contests were fight-of-the-year candidates, and such experiences leave Chandler very well placed to judge how the main event of UFC 205 will unfold.
Though he lost the above renewal in 2013, Chandler won their first encounter in 2011 via rear-naked choke. Conor McGregor, who challenges Alvarez for his 155lb. crown on November 12, lacks that avenue of attack, and it is that perceived deficiency in grappling that leads Michael Chandler to believe that his former adversary will prevail in New York.
“I can attest to Eddie’s power, tenacity, cardio and his composure inside the cage,” he told Chael Sonnen on the latter’s ‘You’re Welcome’ podcast.
“I’ve spent nearly 50 minutes with that guy inside the cage. We have spilled more blood with each other than a lot of people will do in their entire career. Conor’s only good when he’s confident and when he’s in his flow, when he’s in his Conor movement state. It will show in the first round.
He’s going to throw that spinning stuff, he’s going to dig to the body, he’s going to throw that devastating left hand. I rocked him numerous times but he kept coming back. It’ll be interesting to see how Conor reacts to that.”
Though suitably impressed by McGregor’s 25 minute showing against Nate Diaz back in August, Chandler sees the Irishman facing a similar scenario against another dogged and hard-chinned grinder, who will prove even tougher due to his technical proficiency over Diaz.
“Anybody can go out there and land a sweet, beautiful left punch on the chin, knock someone out, get up on the cage and say: ‘Give me my pay cheque and let’s move onto the next one.’
But when you get into those deep waters you either sink or you swim. Eddie has more composure, better crisp striking, wrestling, grappling, and all-round complete MMA techniques than Nate Diaz does, so I think Eddie comes away with it with either a late finish in the third, fourth or fifth round or a unanimous decision.”