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Michael Chandler has waited a while for his fight with Conor McGregor to be confirmed but says that anyone would have done the same in his position ahead of a clash with the sport’s biggest star.

Chandler will finally get an opportunity to trade leather with McGregor in the UFC 303 main event in Las Vegas on June 29; a fight that serves as a climax to the UFC’s annual International Fight Week.

While McGregor has been absent from the Octagon for the best part of three years following a severe leg injury sustained his most recent bout, Chandler has been on the sidelines since a November 2022 defeat to Dustin Poirier as he waited for the final word on the proposed McGregor fight.

And now that it’s official, Chandler said that the extended build to the fight can only add some extra intrigue to it.

“Guess what, it wouldn’t have been as big as this one,” Chandler said in an extended social media Q&A session. “People can talk about waiting and wasting your prime, they want to talk about ‘you’re doing this and doing that’, but you ain’t me and I ain’t you. I’m running my own race.”

“Anybody in the sport of mixed martial arts, whether they are lying to you or not, or you think they are telling you truth, they would have done exactly what I did,” Chandler added. “Trust me they’re all full of envy and of my enviable position that I’m in. They can act like they’re tough guys, and they would’ve fought four times in the time that I sat out.

“We let the internet talk and the trolls troll, and we let the opinionated have their opinions as we run our own race because winners focus on winning and losers focus on winners.”

For Chandler, a fighter regarded as a risk-taker, he will place himself in the firing line of McGregor’s infamous precision striking in Las Vegas this summer — but true to his prior statements, the former Bellator champion says that he is focusing on his own skills but added that he will be aware of McGregor’s most impactful shots.

“It’s something that we’re thinking about, it’s something that we’re working on, it’s something that we’re going to be cognisant of,” he said. However, it’s not going to be something that we are overly worried about.”

“You guys know how I fight, I’m worried about me and focused on me, coming forward and putting my foot on the gas and letting the fight happen as it may,” he said, adding that “it’s still dangerous and something we got to think about.”