Conor McGregor is one second chance win for the UFC Lightweight title.
Of course, Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira will fight for the vacant title this Saturday at UFC 262.
The title is up for grabs after legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov, 29-0, steps away from the sport.
In his wake, the Russian beat big names like McGregor, his July 10 nemesis Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and many more.
UFC veteran Dan Hardy just agreed to quit the UFC earlier this week and is now a free man. The Briton has also commented for the company and in his analysis of this lightweight title fight, Hardy believes there is a very specific reason why the biggest names aren’t fighting for the title.
“That’s why we have Oliveira against Chandler – none of these guys lost to Khabib [Nurmagomedov]Hardy told Submission Radio.
“So the fans don’t have this image in mind of the new lightweight champion being strangled and dominated by the former great retiree.
“If you put that belt on McGregor’s shoulder or Poirier’s waist or Gatheje’s waist at this point, everyone sees the same thing; they just see Khabib towering over them and that belt isn’t worth that much.
Part of it, but it’s also the fact that Poirier and McGregor wanted to bring him back and have a third and final fight. Given that their second meeting at UFC 257 was the second most bought pay-per-view in UFC history, the company was never going to turn this down.
If Poirier had wanted to fight for the title, he could have fought for the title after beating the Irishman, no doubt.
Chandler is hoping McGregor will avenge his loss in January, and if he wins the title on Saturday, big business could be on the horizon.
“I wanna see Conor come back, man,” Chandler told TMZ.
“There’s nothing better than when a guy as tall as Conor McGregor fails, loses and is then able to get up and win. It’s a huge story, it’s a huge scenario.
“Obviously, the athlete in me wants to fight the winner. The businessman of course wants to fight Conor.
McGregor has suggested he would like to fight after Poirier again in July and he has openly said he would like to seek a title after his win.
While Hardy is right, it’s hard to say that a title McGregor’s size would be worthless when the Irishman is still by far the biggest draw in the sport.