McGregor and Chandler Clash at Middleweight: Experts Warn of Performance Risks

The former UFC middleweight champion commented on Conor's decision to move to middleweight

by Sededin Dedovic
McGregor and Chandler Clash at Middleweight: Experts Warn of Performance Risks
© Megan Briggs / Getty Images

Conor McGregor's explosive announcement about his return to the Octagon on June 29 sent shockwaves through the UFC world. While the return itself was expected, the details of the fight, especially the weight category, caused great public interest.

McGregor is set to clash with Michael Chandler at middleweight, a drastic two-weight jump for both fighters. This unexpected move has sparked debate and speculation. Many are questioning McGregor's motives, wondering if this is a strategic play to gain an advantage or simply the result of changes in his physique.

UFC legend Michael Bisping is not surprised by the weight choice, citing McGregor's visibly heavier form and Brendan Loughnane's confirmation of his bulked-up condition. However, Bisping expresses concern about the risks involved.

"McGregor is not known as the most physically fit fighter," Bisping points out. "Excess weight, whether it's muscle or fat, will tire and slow him down, affecting his endurance and signature footwork. "

Decreased performance with excess weight

Anthony Smith echoes these concerns, adding that the extra weight will force McGregor to adjust his entire fighting style, potentially hindering his performance.

''His footwork won't be the same either. He will have to move differently because of the additional weight he is not used to, and because of this, there will be a change in technique. The way he normally fights, with quick entrances and exits, it will not be the same with 15 kilos more.

He didn't perform those movements at this weight at the speed he should perform them in the match," Smith emphasized that nothing will be as Conor imagines. For Chandler, the middleweight move presents different challenges.

Although he is known for his explosiveness and strength, the heavier weight class can affect his agility and endurance. However, it must be admitted that Conor is in a similar situation, and who knows, maybe this will be a real marketing move for a middleweight fight.

Bisping and Smith warn that the extra weight could hinder their speed, technique and overall performance, so we're going to end up watching a boring match. The excitement surrounding McGregor's return is undeniable, and the June 29 clash between McGregor and Chandler promises to be a spectacle, regardless of weight class.