Rumours are rife that MMA’s most high-profile star, Conor McGregor, will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 296 in December.
The Irishman has posted on social media that he expects to be taking on Michael Chandler at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which would be his first fight for two years.
Here is everything you need to know about the highly anticipated clash.
|What||Conor McGregor v Michael Chandler|
|Where||T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (TBC)|
|When||05:00, Sunday 17th December 2023 (TBC)|
|How to watch||TNT Sports Box Office (TBC)|
The exact details of the fight have yet to be confirmed, but McGregor hinted on social media that it will take place in the early hours of Sunday 17th December 2023 at UFC 296.
Details of the fight time will be released when the bout is confirmed, but should Conor McGregor v Michael Chandler go ahead then it would be top of the bill.
And, with the undercard starting at about 1am UK & Ireland time, the fight could be expected to take place at about 5am.
Should Conor McGregor v Michael Chandler be on the UFC 296 bill, then the fight will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The venue is the home of the Vegas Golden Knights, who play ice hockey in the National Hockey League (NHL).
The first Ultimate Fighting Championship event was held there in 2016 and the UFC signed a seven-year contract in 2017 to hold at least four events there a year.
The fight is highly likely to be televised on TNT Sports Box Office, but details will be released once the fight has been confirmed.
There are no odds on the fight yet, but they will be available as soon as it is confirmed.
There are no belts on the line for this fight, which is expected to take place in the welterweight division.
McGregor will eventually be eyeing the opportunity to take on Leon Edwards, who is the UFC welterweight champion.
Conor McGregor is a former UFC champion at both featherweight and lightweight and was the first fighter to hold the title at two different weights simultaneously.
McGregor has won 22 of his 28 professional fights, 19 of them by knockout and he was Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight champion before joining UFC in 2013.
He won the interim UFC featherweight title by defeating Chad Mendes in July 2015 and then unified the title with a victory over Jose Aldo the following December.
McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in New York to become lightweight champion in November 2016, but he has lost his last two fights, both against American Dustin Poirier.
In the second of those, McGregor was stopped after he suffered a broken leg and he has not been in the Octagon since that fight in July 2021.
Michael Chandler is an American fighter who was a three-time lightweight champion in Bellator MMA before he joined UFC in 2020.
He is fifth in the UFC lightweight rankings, but is expected to bulk up to welterweight to fight McGregor if the contest is confirmed.
He has won 23 of his 31 professional fights with 11 of his victories coming via knockout.
Chandler fought for the vacant UFC lightweight championship in May 2021, but lost to Charles Oliviera, while his most recent contest was also against Poirier, who beat him with a third-round submission in New York in November.
The undercard for Conor McGregor v Michael Chandler will be finalised closer to Sunday 17th December, but one fight that could take place is a featherweight clash between Georgia’s Giga Chikadze and Mexican Yair Rodriguez.
Chikadze is eighth in the divisional standings after an unanimous-decision win over American Alex Caceres at UFC Singapore in August and hopes to take on Rodriguez, who is second in the featherweight rankings.
This has yet to be confirmed and other fights will be announced in due course.