A timeline of Conor McGregor & Michael Chandler's trash talk

An in-depth look at the trash talk timeline between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler before UFC 303.
Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler
Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler / UFC

Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor will finally settle it in the Octagon on June 29 at UFC 303. Although McGregor had already confirmed the fight date on New Year's Eve with a different weight class, the official confirmation came during the UFC 300 post-fight press conference.

Chandler and McGregor aren't long-time rivals like Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya. Neither are they former training partners like Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw or Ciryl Gane and Francis Ngannou which can easily add fuel to the fire.

Regardless, McGregor and Chandler are two of the best promoters in the UFC. While McGregor really needs no introduction as his run to gain the featherweight and lightweight straps simultaneously was nothing short of legendary, Chandler has gained the respect of millions of fans through his electrifying performances in the Octagon as well as on the mic.

This is not to say that McGregor and Chandler are best friends, and here's a complete timeline of the long history between the fighters, including every time they've trash-talked each other.

Michael Chandler has always eyed a match with Conor McGregor

To be fair, it isn't an overstatement to say that McGregor vs. Chandler was a matchup destined to happen sooner or later. Chandler rose to glory through his wars with Eddie Alvarez at Bellator in 2011 and 2013 and many believed him to be the best 155er in the world during the time. McGregor, on the flip side, entered the lightweight division in 2016 and instantly proved his prowess by beating Alvarez for the title.

Interestingly, on Feb. 24, 2016, when RDA pulled out of his fight against McGregor, Chandler was quick to claim that he would comfortably step in and dominate the contender for 25 minutes.

In November 2016, Chandler again agreed to a tweet that called him the most underrated fighter in the sport and that he would beat McGregor easily.

Chandler never refrained from commenting on McGregor's fights in the UFC. He picked McGregor to lose against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 and Alvarez at UFC 205 and then predicted a second-round KO for him against Khabib which is the exact opposite of what happened in the fight.

Even in 2020 and 2021, Chandler agreed that his matchup with McGregor will be perfect and it is one of his dream fights.

Although these moments didn't hold much value because Chandler was in Bellator, he quickly became a star in the UFC and when the right moment came, he was quick to call out McGregor in one of the best post-fight interviews ever. Looking back at how long he's wanted this fight just makes the matchup even more special.

UFC 274: The post-fight interview that started it all

Tony Ferguson was on a losing streak but following the Gaethje fight, he had only lost decisions to Beneil Dariush and Charles Oliveira in which he didn't take much damage and showed heart like usual. He looked good in the first round against Chandler but to everyone's surprise, he's knocked out cold for the first time in his life with a spectacular front kick.

Ferguson's laying on the ground while Chandler does four backflips and the entire arena is on its heels. In the post-fight interview, he takes a deep breath and calls out McGregor. This is easily one of the best callouts in the sport's history and laid the foundation of a great rivalry that'll finally be settled at UFC 303.

McGregor was quick to accept the fight, and agreed to happily step in against Chandler in what he believed would be a firework spectacle. However, following this small social media confrontation, things went relatively cold with Chandler eyeing other options and McGregor's name being attached to Oliveira.

Chandler and McGregor coach TUF 31

On Jan. 25, 2023, McGregor hinted that he'd been offered to coach The Ultimate Fighter and the official announcement was out in early February. Much to the excitement of fans, he was coaching TUF 31 alongside Chandler and this naturally solidified their fight.

The first time Chandler and McGregor ran into each other was at the gym. After a general banter with both fighters claiming how they're a nightmare for one another, we got the iconic "You do what you're told" line by McGregor as Chandler agreed to fighting at 185 pounds.

Another heated confrontation happened when McGregor's team lost 6-0 and Chandler called him out for being absent from the weigh-ins. Both the coaches verbally attacked each other in the cage and squared off. From claiming that some of these team members entered the UFC before Chandler to calling him a 'Bellator tick', McGregor threw many insults and eventually grabbed his face and shoved him.

Before things could get too serious though, Dana White stepped in and him running toward the cage while saying "Get out of my way" went on to become a very famous meme in the MMA community.

It's hard to ignore Chandler claiming McGregor also has disproportionately small hands. He tweeted multiple times on the matter and it is one of the most hilarious trash talks leading up to the fight.

As TUF progressed, McGregor seemed frustrated with the losses and after his team's first win, he ranted about Chandler's team taking the fights to the ground.

This led to Chandler responding on Twitter saying, "How would you like to be the guy who wins his first fight and then tries to freaking start a fight with my entire team? You dork. Team here today, gone tomorrow, get out of here, dude. Team here today, gone tomorrow just went 7-1 against your dudes. You suck as a coach."

To be fair, these are the only times where we saw some sort of trash talk with McGregor and Chandler serving as TUF coaches. The bit where they answered questions in an Ice bath was pretty light-hearted and their combined meeting with White was also as calm as it gets.

Following TUF 31, Chandler and fans worldwide waited for an official fight announcement but McGregor had other things on his mind. He shot Road House and was then busy with promotions for the movie.

Michael Chandler calls Conor McGregor weak

One of the more recent trash talks we've seen between Chandler and McGregor is the former calling the latter weak in January 2024. As per Chandler in a YouTube video on his channel, McGregor's weak because you rarely see him lift weights, and he doesn't need to do anything extra to emerge victorious even at 185 pounds.

McGregor responded to the quote with laughing emojis on Twitter and further claimed that lifting belts is superior to lifting weights. Yet again, this is very far from the intense trash talk that we've seen from him in the past.

Micahel Chandler calls out Conor McGregor on Monday Night Raw

One of the most notable moments ahead of the official announcement was when Chandler appeared on WWE's Monday Night Raw and called out McGregor. His aggression and passion were contagious as thousands of fans cheered for him.

“Hey, what’s up, Anaheim? You are now in the presence of the most entertaining UFC fighter on the planet. There’s a man from Ireland that’s been making me wait for way too long, and I still got one dude on my mind: Conor Mcgregor. Get your candy ass back in the Octagon. We’ve got some unfinished business, boys. God bless, see you at the top.”

As per Chandler on The MMA Hour, his promo was completely unprepared and the production randomly asked him to take the mic, and calling out McGregor was certainly the best thing he could do.

Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler trash talk post-UFC 300 announcement

In a now-deleted tweet, McGregor mocked Chandler about the time he wanted to fight in the cage while coaching TUF. Chandler responded in his own audio tweet, claiming, "Conor. It's too late to be scared now."

Most recently, Chandler appeared on the Ryan Shawn Show and blamed McGregor's long time off for his deteriorated timing, strength, movement, and reflexes. This isn't necessarily trash talk but McGregor could very well rage over these statements and bash Chandler for them in return.

Of course, the tension between McGregor and Chandler is expected to rise as fight night comes closer and they get into media duties. Unless McGregor plays the nice guy like he did during his first rematch with Dustin Poirier, fans can look forward to a ton of verbal back and forth.

Although Chandler seems to be unaffected by any trash talk so far, the real implications will only be seen after they're both locked inside the Octagon.


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