MICHAEL CHANDLER believes the door is finally “opening” for his long-overdue showdown with Conor McGregor.
Chandler, 36, was announced as McGregor’s comeback opponent back in February but has had to sit on the sidelines waiting for a date for their dust-up.
UFC president Dana White, however, recently poured cold water on talk of the duo headlining the card, although Chandler is still holding out hope of topping the bill of the Sin City extravaganza.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, he said: “The door opening for this fight with Conor, whenever it’s finally supposed to be, will be.
“And I’m just being at peace in the midst of the waiting and sometimes at the lack of haste that it happened over the last year.”
He added: “That would be a dream scenario [fighting McGregor at UFC 300].
“That’s when I would like to fight, where I would like to fight, [and] who I would want to fight. Chandler vs. Conor is happening.
“I don’t have a date or a location or a UFC number for you but it’s definitely going to happen next year.”
Former three-time Bellator lightweight champion Chandler hasn’t set foot inside the octagon since his submission loss to Dustin Poirier last November.
And sitting on the sidelines waiting for McGregor during the twilight of his career hasn’t been easy for the fan favourite.
He said: “[I’m] frustrated at times, absolutely. Annoyed maybe a little bit here and there because, you know, we get that rush.
“We love fighting, we love competing.
“Anybody who has seen all of my fights in the UFC thus far, or even the fights before that, I have been extremely active over the last 15 years.”
Former two-division champion McGregor, 35, hasn’t fought since breaking his left leg in his trilogy fight with Poirier two-and-a-half years ago.
The Irishman underwent a painstaking rehab to get himself fighting fit and is champing at the bit to return to the octagon.
He said last month: “I’ve been kept from my living for almost three years now.
“Understand that. I came through what I came through. I’m sitting on an injury and a loss.
“You hear what Alexander Volkanovski said? I relate. I must return to my way of living.
“This is my job. It’s beyond frustrating. … I just want the date. Give me the date, please. That’s it.”