Michael Chandler uses perfect analogy to defend Conor McGregor’s cardio

UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler has explained why it is difficult to keep your stamina full after the first few rounds and has defended Conor McGregor’s strategy.

Michael Chandler, who recently joined the UFC, is a former three-time Bellator lightweight world champion. He is set to make his debut with the promotion against Dan Hooker as the UFC 257 co-main event.

Like McGregor, most of Michael Chandler’s victories came during the first round. The two do not usually pass through the third round. Talking to the MMA On Point YouTube channel, Chandler gave his opinion and shared his experience regarding McGregor’s fatigue.

“I don’t know because I get the same criticism as well. You could have trained mixed martial arts for the last two decades, but if you’ve never been inside the competition; inside the cage; the ups and downs; the roar of the crowd; getting caught in a submission, rolling out of it; scrambles; getting hit; getting thrown around it… There’s so much tumultuous kinetic energy constantly moving, and you are never, ever safe. Imagine being in a situation for 25 minutes, where you’re not safe. You can’t rest. You know, there’s always danger. So, your heart rate creeps up. You got a guy who can run 300 miles, no problem, but you put them inside the cage, you put them into a 30-second scramble, and he’s dying, he can’t breathe.”

McGregor has increasingly given more attention to his cardio since fighting Floyd Mayweather. For the boxing bout, the Irishman needed to work on his fatigue, recognizing that it was far more unlikely he would be able to finish the fight as fast as he does in the UFC.

The cardio training’s dedication has developed so much that McGregor now has his own company focused on conditioning and training, called McGregor FAST.

Michael Chandler continued to discuss McGregor’s cardio, adding:

“[McGregor] focused a lot on his cardio and building a cardio base and the cardiovascular system itself with long runs and bikes and the VO2 maxes. He’s training like a professional athlete should, but that doesn’t always translate to longevity inside that cage, depending on the sequence of events that happens from that first bell to the last bell. I’ve been in fights where I get done, and I’m like, ‘man, I could go five more rounds,’ and I also passed out in the cage against Benson Henderson, in our first fight. After the fourth round, [I] woke up in the corner. [I] thought I got knocked out and then ended up finishing the fight because I literally pushed myself to exhaustion. That can happen, and it does happen inside the cage. So, it’s just about mindset, controlling your heart rate, controlling your mind, trying to control as much as you possibly can. Inside the crazy sport of mixed martial arts that we’re in.”

Michael Chandler UFC debut

Michael Chandler weigh-in for UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje
Michael Chandler weigh-in for UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje

The UFC initially matched Michael Chandler up with Tony Ferguson. However, Michael Chandler rejected the bout after making weight to serve as the backup for the title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje in UFC 254.

While Ferguson went on to fight Charles Oliveira, against whom he lost, the UFC once again considered Chandler the backup plan for UFC 257 main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Nevertheless, the promotion decided to finally give him his first fight when they paired Michael Chandler with Dan Hooker, No. 6 in the UFC lightweight rankings. The bout will now work as the co-main event in UFC 257, which is set to happen on January 23.

Published 13 Jan 2021, 05:31 IST

Source: Sportskeeda

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