Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) are expected to fight after they coached Season 31 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which airs Tuesdays on ESPN and ESPN+ through Aug. 15.
In five UFC appearances, Chandler has earned four bonuses – including a Knockout and Fight of the Year contender. Chandler was an NCAA Division-I wrestler at the University of Missouri, but he hasn’t shown off too much of his grappling in the octagon. If that continues against McGregor, Dariush doesn’t like his chances.
“Michael Chandler has the tools to win the fight, and he’s been more active, which is great for him,” Dariush said. “I just don’t know if he’s gonna use the tools. If he comes out and he tries to fight the way he fights the last three fights, I think he’ll lose.
“If he tries to go wild, Conor has the ability to take people out like that. But if he fights smart, he uses the wrestling, he uses the takedown, I think he can have a great fight with Conor, and I think he can definitely win the fight. I am leaning toward Conor right now, just because I do think he’s got slick striking and his counters are very good.”
McGregor vs. Chandler appears to be set for welterweight. But with McGregor’s past fight taking place at 155 pounds, Dariush is aware that beating Chandler could land “The Notorious” in the lightweight title picture, and he has mixed feelings about that.
“As far as him re-entering the lightweight division, it’s great,” Dariush said. “It’s great for our division because we get more eyes on us. What I don’t like is how slow things start to move because everybody wants to fight him, and everybody is willing to sit out and wait for him.
“And if he does win, and let’s say he wants to fight for the title, they’ll wait. They’ll push things back, and they’ll make things take forever. So I see the benefits of Conor coming back, but the negatives I think for me personally outweighs it because it just slows things down and you get such a logjam.”
Dariush plans on securing a title shot when he squares off with former champion Charles Oliveira in the UFC 289 co-main event on June 10.