UFC legend Tito Ortiz says ‘it doesn’t make sense’ for Conor McGregor’s comeback fight to be against Michael Chandler.
‘Notorious’ is currently working his way back to full fitness and is expected to return to the octagon later this year after fracturing his tibia and fibula at UFC 264 in July 2021.
Chandler, who was a three-time champion with Bellator, impressed Ortiz and pretty much every MMA fan when he knocked out Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 last month.
“One of my favourite ones to watch right now, I’d have to say Michael Chandler. Just the turnaround in his career has just been amazing. It shows that hard work really does pay” Ortiz told journalist Helen Yee.
Post-fight, Chandler expressed his willingness to jump up to welterweight for a fight with McGregor, who seemed to be open to the idea when he responded to the call out.
However, Ortiz thinks the former dual-weight UFC champion would be making a big mistake if he decided to face Chandler in his first fight back from injury.
The 47-year-old worries that McGregor’s wrestling deficiencies, which were on display in his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, would be exploited by the talented grappler like Chandler.
“It doesn’t make sense for Conor McGregor,” Ortiz said.
“I mean, Chandler is a wrestler who can strike. That’s not Conor’s strength. I think Khabib [Nurmagomedov] really showed that and what he can do with it. [Dustin] Poirier showed what he can do with wrestling also, with striking.”
Despite worrying about McGregor’s ability to mix it with the very best wrestlers, Ortiz is impressed by the fact the 33-year-old is even trying to make a comeback.
“For Conor to come back after the injury he had, I have nothing but respect for the guy,” he said. “The guy has a steel rod in his leg and he still wants to come back and still compete after all of the money he did make.”