Michael Chandler is pushing hard for a fight against Conor McGregor when the Irishman makes his eventual UFC return next year.

McGregor is poised to make his return to the octagon in the middle of 2022 after suffering a broken tibia in July against Dustin Poirier.

The Irishman revealed in a Q&A on Twitter last week he will return to "full" MMA sparring by April with his next fight coming shortly after that.

Chandler is also planning to take some time away from the cage following his three-round war against Justin Gaethje last month.

The former Bellator champion has made no secret of his desire to fight the UFC star, tweeting an unofficial fight poster of the two last month with McGregor agreeing to a future clash.

And Chandler told former two-weight UFC champion Daniel Cormier why he wants to welcome McGregor back to the cage.

A mock-up of Michael Chandler facing off with Conor McGregor (



"As fighters, we get into the sport because we want big stages, big opportunities against big opponents in big arenas, and it doesn't get any bigger than Conor McGregor," he told ESPN.

"I think what you're seeing here is mutual respect, for him to say he was impressed by my performances. To me that's genuine, that's how I like to do things.

"He needs to heal, I need to heal up, we'll see if that fight happens. If it does, it's definitely going to be fireworks inside the octagon."

McGregor admitted it was "hard not to be impressed" by Chandler's first three fights and the UFC and could well be the current lightweight champion.

Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker in his UFC debut in January but has seen lost to current 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira and Gaethje.

And Cormier questioned whether Chandler could keep up with the trash talk of McGregor if the two were to meet in the cage.

"I guess if the fight happens we'll see, you might see a different side of me," he continued.

"I'm pretty good at using my vocabulary and linguistic jiu-jitsu to wrap guys up in words they may not understand, without having to take to base level assaults or talk about things that are going to be damaging to a guy's reputation.

"I respect Conor for what he's done, I respect Conor as a fighter and I even respect his trash talk game. It is something that I'm looking forward to.

"Big fights, big opponents and big stages. It just gets bigger and bigger with every single conversation that get's had, social media post and everything moment he and I would be on the microphone."

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