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Michael Chandler’s long-awaited showdown with Conor McGregor is officially official. 

It was announced by Dana White in the UFC 300 post-fight press conference in Las Vegas late on Saturday night that the two rivals will clash in a welterweight contest at UFC 303 on June 29, which will serve as the climax to the organisation’s annual International Fight Week event.

Now rubber-stamped after a prolonged buildup which began when both fighters were announced as competing coaches on a season of the UFC’s long-running reality series ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ last year, former Bellator champion Chandler is glad that the speculation is over and he can focus on preparation ahead of a fight he was campaigned for for several years.

“This is the date we knew it was going to happen the last couple of months but it’s never really official until Dana actually says it,” Chandler said, speaking exclusively to The Mac Life.  “It was the most anti-climactic way to announce a huge fight, almost like he just said it and moved on which was actually kinda funny.

“I’ve said this, I had too much reassurance behind the scenes that this fight was going to happen,” he added. “Maybe we were going to get done with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ in August and we were hopefully gonna fight in September. That didn’t happen, and then December didn’t happen and obviously January and … UFC 300 last night. There was a bunch of different dates that it could have happened but I knew this was the fight that I wanted. This was the fight that Conor and I have agreed to.

“Now we got a fight going and we got two dudes who are about to take each other’s heads off. I knew all along that this was going to happen.”

All that said, though, Chandler says that he won’t be surprised if there a few more twists and turns ahead of the fight — possibly including the addition of a brand new weight class.

“Even me in this position man, I would not be surprised if that bout agreement comes over and it says for the 165 title,” he said.

“You never know because the UFC has to keep a lot of things secret. Even to us, right? I mean, you saw Conor broke the announcement again before the UFC did it. I’m sure the UFC said, ‘Hey, don’t do it because we’re gonna do it at the post-fight press conference.’ In typical Conor fashion.

“They want to hold a lot of the information. We knew the date. I knew what the weight class most likely was going to be, and then they sent it over. It should be for a belt, but we’ll see if we can’t make one up.”

“I think 170 is perfect,” Chandler explained. “155 is not easy to make. So, fighting at 170 is gonna be kind of a perfect camp, honestly. I weigh about 190. Getting down to 170 is kind of gonna be easy compared to 155, obviously.

“I think I’ll compete phenomenally there,” he continued. “I’m still gonna do the exact same camp. I’m still gonna get my weight similar to where I would be at 155, I just won’t dehydrate myself at the end. So, I wanna stay big, I wanna stay strong, wanna stay explosive. So, I think 170 is gonna be perfect.”