Multiple fighters, including Michael Chandler, set to testify on behalf of the UFC in antitrust lawsuit

Michael Chandler and fighters testify on behalf of UFC in antitrust suitMultiple past and present fighters — including active lightweight star Michael Chandler — are scheduled to testify on behalf…

Michael Chandler and fighters testify on behalf of UFC in antitrust suit

Multiple past and present fighters — including active lightweight star Michael Chandler — are scheduled to testify on behalf of the UFC in an upcoming class-action antitrust case, per a brief filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

As first reported by Bloody Elbow, Chandler and former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate are listed as expected witnesses for the defendants in UFC parent company Zuffa’s trial brief. Also listed in the briefs as expected witnesses are Chael Sonnen and UFC Hall of Famers Michael Bisping and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

The trial is expected to begin on April 15 in Las Vegas, though Zuffa counsel is attempting to push back the date due to a scheduling conflict.

“I don’t have a problem with the quote/un-quote ‘fighter pay’ argument,” Chandler said in a 2022 interview. “I think people think we should make a lot more money because the UFC makes a ton of money on their shows. Well, the UFC’s been at it since 1993.

Dana White has had 10,000 sleepless nights when most of us fighters are just showing up to practice and going to bed, laying our head on the pillow and getting after it — and getting paid a decent wage for what we do.”

Managers of MMA fighters are also listed as expected witnesses on behalf of Zuffa, including Ali Abdelaziz, Jason House, Josh Jones, Dan Lambert, and Ed Soares. Abdelaziz is best known for representing some of the best pound-for-pound fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Henry Cejudo, Kamaru Usman, and Kayla Harrison. Lambert has worked as a manager but is best known as the proprietor of one of the most prestigious gyms in the MMA world — American Top Team.

Current UFC CEO Dana White is expected to be called as a witness alongside former Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and matchmakers Joe Silva, Sean Shelby, and Mick Maynard.

The plaintiffs, made up of former UFC fighters Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, Jon Fitch, Brandon Vera, Luis Javier Vazquez, and Kyle Kingsbury, are claiming the UFC engaged in a scheme “to acquire and maintain monopsony power in the market for elite professional MMA fighter services” by eliminating competition and suppressing wages. If found guilty, the UFC could be on the hook for damages anywhere between $894 million and $1.6 billion.

After being granted a class certification in August, the entire group of defendants is any fighter who competed in the UFC during the bout class, which runs from December 16, 2010, to June 30, 2017. Thus far, no fighter has opted out of receiving compensation should the plaintiffs win the case or there is a settlement.

Transcription courtesy of ESPN’s Marc Raimondi

Michael Chandler refuses to give up hope on his clash with Conor McGregor: ‘The fight is happening’

Michael ChandlerMichael Chandler refuses to give up hope on his long-awaited clash with Conor McGregor. It’s been a year since…

Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler refuses to give up hope on his long-awaited clash with Conor McGregor.

It’s been a year since fight fans first learned that the Irish megastar’s return to the Octagon would come against Chandler. Unfortunately, there has been little movement since then, even after the two completed their time competing against one another on the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter.

But despite all the delays and doubts cast by UFC CEO Dana White, Chandler remains adamant that his fight with McGregor will happen.

“Nobody’s had to feel like they’ve waited longer than me,” Chandler told Ariel Helwani on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “I’ve been ready to fight since right after The Ultimate Fighter, but I also understand that the time off has been good. The time with my family has been good. Business has been booming outside of me fighting in a cage for a paycheck. Conor’s got his stuff going on. He’s promoting Road House that’s coming out in March.

Obviously, there was the USADA stuff and the new drug testing stuff. There’s all these different layers, plus what Dana [White] has said. Money complicates things. There’s a lot of money involved in this fight. There’s a lot of money in Conor’s camp with what he has built. Whether you love him or hate him, you’ve gotta respect what the man has built. It has complicated things, but either way, the Chandler train is continuing. We’re not getting off this train. This is the fight that is happening. I can’t tell you the date. I can’t tell you the weight, but I can tell you the fight is happening.

“I have way too many assurances that this fight is happening to think otherwise.”

The last time Michael Chandler stepped inside the cage was at UFC 281. ‘Iron’ came up short, suffering a third-round rear-naked choke submission to lightweight staple Dustin Poirier. Since his promotional debut in January 2021, Chandler has gone 2-3.

As for Conor McGregor, the Irishman’s last appearance also came against Poirier at UFC 264. ‘Mystic Mac’ lost the bout via TKO after breaking his leg in the waning moments of the opening round. McGregor has lost four of his last five fights, including a boxing match against legendary pugilist Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.

Video – Michael Chandler unleashes promo on Conor McGregor at WWE event: ‘We have unfinished business, boy’

Michael Chandler issues promo to Conor McGregor at WWE event we have unfinished businessFormer lightweight championship challenger, Michael Chandler has unleashed another scathing promo on former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor – this…

Michael Chandler issues promo to Conor McGregor at WWE event we have unfinished business

Former lightweight championship challenger, Michael Chandler has unleashed another scathing promo on former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor – this time from the barricade alongside the WWE universe, urging the UFC star to finally make good on his return to the Octagon.

Chandler, the current number five ranked lightweight contender, has himself been sidelined from the Octagon since he featured on the main card of UFC 281 back in 2022, slumping to an eventual third round rear-naked choke submission loss to common-foe, Dustin Poirier in the pair’s high-stakes clash.

As for McGregor, the summer will mark three years since the Dubliner’s most recent outing, having fractured his left tibia and fibula in a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to the aforenoted, Poirier in the pair’s trilogy rubber match.

And expected to fight Kill Cliff FC staple, Chandler in his long-anticipated return to the Octagon, McGregor – who called for a June return during International Fight Week at UFC 302, has been denied as hasty a return as he wishes, with UFC CEO, Dana White claiming things are far from concrete on his comeback.

Michael Chandler calls for Conor McGregor at WWE event

Continually chasing a fight with the ex-two-weight champion, Chandler attended a professional wrestling event with the WWE – now-under the TKO Group banner alongside the UFC banner, before issuing a massive promo, calling for a fight with McGregor to much fanfare.

“Hey, what’s up, Anaheim?” Michael Chandler said. “You are now in the presence of the most entertaining UFC fighter on the planet. Now, there’s a man from Ireland that’s been making me wait for way too long.”

“And I still got one dude on my mind,” Michael Chandler. “Conor McGregor, get your candy-ass back to the Octagon, we got some unfinished business, boy. God bless. I’ll see you at the top.” 

Do you think we ever see Conor McGregor fight Michael Chandler?

Video: UFC’s Michael Chandler Calls Out Conor McGregor on WWE Raw

Michael Chandler is ready to fight Conor McGregor. The UFC fighter took the microphone during Monday’s WWE Raw and called out McGregor by saying they have…

Michael Chandler is ready to fight Conor McGregor. The UFC fighter took the microphone during Monday’s WWE Raw and called out McGregor by saying they have…

Michael Chandler headed to WWE after missing out on UFC 300 headliner with Conor McGregor

Michael Chandler to WWE RawMichael Chandler is headed to WWE Raw after failing to secure the UFC 300 headliner. The former Bellator MMA…

Michael Chandler to WWE Raw

Michael Chandler is headed to WWE Raw after failing to secure the UFC 300 headliner.

The former Bellator MMA champion seems content to wait for Irish megastar Conor McGregor to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon. When, or if that even happens remains a mystery to everyone, including Dana White. The UFC CEO recently suggested that a fall return could be in the cards for the former two-division titleholder, but even that seems uncertain.

Over the last several months, rumors ran rampant suggesting that the pair would finally deliver their TUF 31 payoff in the UFC 300 headliner on April 13. We now know that won’t be the case after White revealed that Alex Pereira will put his light heavyweight title on the line against former champion Jamahal Hill in the landmark event’s headliner.

What could have been,” Chandler wrote on X, referencing the missed opportunity to headline UFC 300 opposite McGregor.

Michael Chandler is Headed to WWE Raw

Instead of sitting around waiting, Michael Chandler is headed to WWE Raw on Monday night in Anaheim — the site of last weekend’s UFC 298 card. Unfortunately, it appears as though Chandler’s appearance will be purely promotional so don’t expect him to jump inside the ring and mix it up with Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns.

See yall at #WWERaw tomorrow night,” Chandler posted.

Of course, WWE and the UFC are housed under the same parent company — TKO Group — allowing for stars from both organizations to make crossover appearances.

Will you be tuning into WWE’s flagship show on Monday night as the promotion quickly approaches the 40th anniversary of WrestleMania?

5 fights that could headline UFC 300

5 fights that could headline UFC 300With April’s monumental UFC 300 card still without an official headliner, a host of floated matchups have been tossed…

5 fights that could headline UFC 300

With April’s monumental UFC 300 card still without an official headliner, a host of floated matchups have been tossed into the ether ahead of the flagship event, from the likes of massive return for ex-champion, Conor McGregor – to light heavyweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, and former middleweight titleholder, striking star, Israel Adesanya.

With the current setup featuring two ‘title’ fights in the form of an undisputed strawweight clash between Chinese pair, Zhang Weili, and Yan Xiaonan – as well as a symbolic BMF championship bout between Justin Gaethje and Max Holloways, fans have called for another championship pairing – or a leftfield return or blockbuster non-title affair to take main event honors.

Promotional CEO, Dana White has claimed he plans two more fights to take place on the April card – including an elusive main event, so let’s take a look at what realistic options the promotion have to take curtain closing honors on the flagship show.

Tom Aspinall vs. Alex Pereira –

Minting himself as the interim heavyweight champion on the same card as Alex Pereira’s ascension to the light heavyweight throne, Tom Aspinall may be forced into a defense of that interim crown while he awaits a title unification fight with Jon Jones.

And naturally, following his rise from the middleweight limit – where he also landed spoils, Pereira has been floated as an opponent to Aspinall in a stunning heavyweight title launch – in a bid to become the first three-weight champion in Octagon antiquity. 

With weeks dwindling down to UFC 300 –in which players from Kentucky and elsewhere can place bets on a slew of fights on the stacked card, could White and brass have a perfect main event fight in the form of Aspinall x Pereira sat right in front of them?

Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler –

Former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor may have been steadfast in his claim to a June 29. fight during International Fight Week against Michael Chandler, however, White has firmly put the brakes on that date for his return.

Fans have speculated the promotional boss is simply trying to throw fans off the scent of and impending announcement confirming McGregor’s comeback at UFC 300 against the aforenoted, Chandler. 

It seems a perfect-fit for a pay-per-view card of this nature, however, with the inclusion of two championship fights, as well as a stacked card from top-to-bottom, featuring McGregorn an event as such would be a first for the organization, who have relied on the Dubliner’s sole star power in the past to spearhead their cards – rather than building huge events around him. 

Dricus du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya –

Another fight seemingly right on the horizon for the promotion – even for the UFC 300 card, is a middleweight championship grudge fight between Dricus du Plessis and the above-mentioned, Israel Adesanya.

Striking gold at UFC 297 back in January, South African champion, du Plessis toppled common-foe, Sean Strickland in Canada, before calling out Adesanya for a title affair. 

Attempting to secure a massive title fight with the City Kickboxing staple, du Plessis has since now claimed that a potential longer-than-expected sidelining ro recover from injuries suffered last month, may force him to sit out a UFC 300 card – in place of a UFC Africa event, rumored to take place later this annum.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 –

This one comes as a rather leftfield suggestion – one that also completely shafts the aforenoted, Chandler.

Long-linked with a trilogy rubber-match with long-time foe, Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor has claimed in the time since their 2016 rematch how he owes the Stockton native a decider in the form of a third fight – and has received backing to feature against the alum at a massive UFC 300 card.

Himself welcoming the possibility of headlining UFC 300 against his Crumlin rival, McGregor – Diaz cited their failed UFC 200 rematch back in 2016, however, the Californian would first and foremost have to re-up with the organization. 

Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya III –

In a bid to potentially round out their rivalry once and for all – the possibility of Alex Pereira defending his light heavyweight crown against Israel Adesanya, in place of an injury-stricken, du Plessis at UFC 300 – could be one of the more realistic options to headline the event in April.

1-1 throughout their Octagon rivalry, following two prior victories for Pereira in the pair’s Kickboxing tenures, given the Brazilian’s ascension to light heavyweight supremacy, a title fight at 205 pounds against Nigerian-Kiwi enemy, Adesanya could very well draw in the general fanbase to a massive UFC 300 card. 

Adesanya’s most recent outing inside the Octagon came last September in a title fight loss to the previously mentioned, Strickland in a huge upset defeat, however, with time running thin on securing a UFC 300 headliner, promotional brass may look to the ex-two-time gold holder to take main event honors in a light heavyweight sophomore outing against Pereira in a bid to mint himself as a two-weight gold holder.