UFC 303: Conor McGregor ‘Cold in the Soul’ for Chandler, Toning Down Trash Talk

McGregor adjusts his tune to mental warfare: "I don't think I'll go to that level again."
January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds an Irish flag as he celebrates his first round TKO victory against Donald Cerrone following UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena.
January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds an Irish flag as he celebrates his first round TKO victory against Donald Cerrone following UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor is officially toning it down when it comes to trash talking.

From mental warfare to promoting a super-fight, there aren't many UFC fighters who can say they do either thing better than the Irish superstar of McGregor. The former two-division UFC champion has already had his fun in the fight game and that's where he'll continue to do so as he battles Michael Chandler at UFC 303.

June 29th will mark the end of an almost three-year layoff for McGregor that saw "The Notorious" out of commission with a broken leg injury, which happened in his last fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.

"I'm ready to go. I'm calm, I'm composed, I'm cold in the soul for this man," McGregor told The Mac Life. "I'm coming back with a vengeance and I'm coming back with skill. So, I'm excited to show my skills. I'm in a great place mentally, physically, spiritually. And five weeks, five days time, we're back on the horse, giddy up."

In previous installments of McGregor's career, it's about this time where we've seen the Irishman rile up fans and press his opponent with a war of words, but that's not the case for McGregor and Chandler as they near International Fight Week as peaceful as can be. No dollies thrown at busses. No comments have crossed over the line, nothing yet between now and the airing of 'The Ultimate Fighter' last year.

"The Notorious" says things may stay that way up until the end of his fighting career.

"I don't think I'll go to that level again," McGregor said of trash talk. "It doesn't serve a purpose, it doesn't serve me well. You say, you remain cold to the situation. You remain emotionless. It's a blank face and a specific body type. He has his set movements, his set patterns, he moves in and his set shots and I'm aware of them and I'm preparing for multitude of outcomes. And just getting myself as ready as I can be. And I'm confident that all my shots will land."

A "multitude of outcomes" on the way, we'll see if Conor McGregor can land back on his feet in the welterweight division next month against Michael Chandler. After that, there's no shortage of avenues McGregor can take and it's all up to "The Notorious" to what weight he fancies.

"I've already claimed the lightweight title," McGregor said, when asked what divisions interest him. "I'm the last unified lightweight champion and I had such great success then at welterweight. I dunno why I said I'll go back down and cut to 155 after having such great success, 42-second knockout on my record. It's not easy doing the 155 cut. But yeah, I dunno. I still, I would still do it probably. But BMF and the welterweight sounds good to me for sure. So does the lightweight."

Conor McGregor has competed across the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions in his UFC tenure with the former champion leaving featherweight (145lbs) in 2015. His opponent Michael Chandler has long been a staple at lightweight but journeys to welterweight for the fight with McGregor many believed would never have happened for him.

"People were telling me things like, I’m wasting my prime," Chandler told UFC.com. "They were bringing up my age and saying Conor is never coming back. Or that I’m past my prime and the fight is never going to happen. All the pushback and the hate and people telling me that I was doing the wrong thing showed me that I was doing the right thing.

“It doesn’t get any bigger than this. People can say what they want about me waiting, but anyone on the roster - future, past, or present - knows that they would wait for this fight. I took this as an opportunity to follow the blueprint for how a man or woman stands on their own two feet. The world wants to put you in a box and it’s your job to jump out of the box and kick down those doors.”

We'll see how Michael Chandler's gamble against Conor McGregor pays off on June 29th.

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Published
Christopher De Santiago

CHRISTOPHER DE SANTIAGO

Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist from Gainesville, Texas with years of experience covering MMA.