The next season of The Ultimate Fighter (season 31 now!) has been filmed and will debut on May 30. The opposing coaches? Conor "Notorious" McGregor and Michael "Iron" Chandler, which sets up a lightweight match between the two likely this year. Who wins it? It’s early, but if we were you, we’d bet against McGregor and in favor of Chandler. In this article, we’ll explain our full betting rationale, free of cost!
- What: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler
- When: To be determined
McGregor vs. Chandler Preview
When this fight happens, it’ll likely be the biggest fight of the year. Call it the “McGregor effect” but his ability to bring eyeballs to the sport is on a different stratosphere. The same goes for betting attention. That’s why we wanted to start our McGregor-Chandler preview with a quick look at the odds. The best online betting sites for UFC have this fight pegged oh so close:
Of course, all eyes are on McGregor, per usual. He hasn’t stepped into the octagon since July 2021 when Mystic Max suffered a grizzly leg injury to Dustin Poirier. McGregor lost the fight and shredded his fibula and tibia in the process — not a small injury to overcome for a now 34-year-old fighter. His journey back was documented in a new Netflix documentary for those interested.
The elephant in the room has to be addressed: McGregor was accused of shooting up steroids during the time away healing. Those are serious allegations to throw around, but you can see why people are of that belief. The “Notorious” McGregor wasn’t in the USADA testing pool during this time, which would’ve give him the opportunity to inject a cocktail of ‘roids without penalty. He also beefed up to a weight we’ve never seen out of McGregor before — a bit of a head-scratcher at an age when the body is in slow decline.
The USADA dilemma will influence when this fight even happens. We mean, the season of The Ultimate Fighter runs until August. Ideally, these two duke it out right after. But to do so, McGregor has to re-enter the testing pool. Nothing is confirmed, but it doesn’t appear McGregor has done so yet as of this writing.
McGregor vs. Chandler Betting Analysis
We’re both surprised and not surprised that McGregor is the favored betting pick over Chandler at most sportsbooks. You have to remember how sportsbooks work: they want to draw even action on both sides. Having too much money on one side puts them at risk of getting cleaned out. And McGregor, due to his massive name, will draw a high volume of bets no matter what — and doing so at plus-money would up the bookie’s risk.
But if any other fighter had McGregor’s resume as of late, they would not be the betting favorite. Here’s a man who has won one fight since Barrack Obama left the Oval Office — one in seven years. It’s been a long, long time since McGregor was atop the sport as a two-division champion. There’s ample evidence since then to suggest that McGregor is washed, as harsh as that might sound.
But let’s shift our attention to Chandler. We’ve spent this whole article talking about McGregor for obvious reasons, but Chandler deserves his shine too. The three-time Bellator champion Chandler is actually three years older than McGregor but has remained active his whole career. He calls himself the “most entertaining lightweight on the planet” and has delivered on it since coming to the UFC.
He’s 2-3 in this promotion but that’s been against the “best of the best” — Charles Oliviera, Justin Gaethje, and the aforementioned Poirier. All losses against that trio, but he was competitive in each. Conor, on the other hand, was thoroughly dominated by “The Diamond” on two occasions.
Both Chandler and McGregor will likely keep this fight standing up. McGregor is a natural striker, while Chandler has become one since entering the UFC. In Bellator, he was a wrestling-minded fighter though so Chandler could easily fall back on that. Honestly, it would be the smart fighting strategy because McGregor has an advantageous edge in reach (five inches).
Still, we can’t possibly pick McGregor. His name value exceeds his fight skills at this point — by a wide margin too. Bet on Chandler here and get that pure value at plus-money odds.
How To Bet On McGregor vs. Chandler
Want more futures betting options around the UFC? Hit one of the bookmakers listed in the underneath table. You’ll find other upcoming mega-fights available beyond the McGregor-Chandler bet (e.g. Jon Jones vs.). Some fights are official, some aren’t but the option to lock in good prices is available at these bookies.
If you need help picking the best bookmaker for UFC, be sure to read our latest sportsbook reviews (links are in the table). While all five sites you see here are industry leaders, they do differentiate on some features. Reading the reviews will give you the lowdown on who offers what, which should inform your decision.