UFC president Dana White says he is “very excited” about adding former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler to the UFC roster.
On Thursday, White announced that the UFC has signed Chandler to a free-agent contract. His first task with the UFC will be to be the backup fighter for the UFC 254 main event between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje. It was a massive free-agent signing for the UFC as Chandler is widely considered by fans and media to be a top-10 lightweight in all of MMA.
Speaking to TMZ Sports soon after the Chandler deal was officially announced, White spoke about the big free-agent signing. The UFC president gushed over Chandler and his abilities and said that he is excited to see “Iron Mike” finally fight in the Octagon.
“Very excited about him. Very excited. And now that I’ve got to know him a little bit, he’s a great guy. So I’m happy for him and I’m happy that he’s part of the (UFC) family,” White said.
The UFC president confirmed the plan is for Chandler to fly to Fight Island, cut weight, and weigh-in just in case anything happens to Nurmagomedov or Gaethje.
“He will be there for that fight. He will be training, he will be cutting weight, and he will weigh in just in case anything happens to Khabib or Justin. We’re excited about that. Great kid and he is now part of the UFC family,” White said.
Anytime you can add a consensus top-10 fighter in his weight class, it’s a good day for the UFC. For Chandler, he’s spent a decade fighting for Bellator and now finally gets the chance to prove to the MMA world that he’s one of the best lightweights ever.
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