Michael Chandler is patient and hoping for the return of Conor McGregor. Speaking to TMZ, Chandler said:

“Yeah, you know this was obviously a fight that has been rumored for a while. I think a lot of people saw it coming in October, but there was some interesting parody there where Charles was talking about waiting out for the Conor fight. you know just as we continue to move forward through this division, it’s is a wild division, it’s a very star-studded division, and in my mind the toughest division in all of mixed martial arts so I think it was the right fight to make. Islam has been on a streak obviously, Charles is not the champion right now, but he is the champion, you’ve heard all of us say it. I mean you get your title stripped because you don’t make weight, and yes, I am the biggest proponent of making weight, you got to or you don’t get to fight but he ended up losing the title, but he is our champion so I think it’s the right fight to make. It seems like such a fascinating matchup”.

Oliveira wanted the McGregor fight, but he is now booked to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. That opens the door for other lightweights to get the fight with McGregor, who has not returned to the octagon since his injury just a year ago.

“I think the biggest thing for Conor is timeline. The guy snapped his leg you know, it wasn’t a small injury. It required surgery, maybe multiple surgeries, titanium rod going in and all that kind of stuff you know as you’ve seen my pursuit of the Conor McGregor fight in my pursuit I’m not gonna be throwing stones at the guy. I mean the guy completely shattered his leg and it was literally just a year ago.” –  said Chandler in his interview with TMZ.

McGregor has been posting regularly on social media videos and pictures of him training, but it’s less likely that he will return this year.

Chandler also said: “If Conor’s coming back anytime soon, I think me and Conor would make some fireworks and it’s a fight that fans want to see, I think it’s the biggest fight that we can make in mixed martial arts right now, and I try to say that as humbly as possible but I think it’s a huge fight”

Coming off his spectacular front kick KO of Tony Ferguson of UFC 274, Chandler expressed in his post-fight speech that he wants McGregor next. In the interview with TMZ, Michael Chandler said that he would wait for Conor McGregor until January or February.

“If Conor came out tomorrow or his management or his doctor came out tomorrow and said Conor will definitely be back January, for sure, and then subsequently he comes out and says he says he wants to fight me I’ll definitely wait till January-February, but at this point I mean if he’s not coming back and there’s no guarantee that fight is happening so to put those pieces of the puzzle together to, make those two stars align at the right time, at the right place. I would probably have to move on you. I think me and Conor happens no matter what. Eventually it’s gonna happen down the line, I don’t know if it’s next you know, next I want to put myself in line for a title.”

Listen to the whole interview below: