Michael Chandler is arguably the most high-profile free agent in the sport right now and his teammate Gilbert Burns just dropped a massive hint that the long-time Bellator star is about to seal his move to the UFC.
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) September 2, 2020
“What’s going on here?” Burns wrote in a recent Tweet, alluding to Chandler’s move into the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool ahead of a move to the UFC.
Chandler is a free agent. With him now coming off the back of a fantastic win over Benson Henderson in the last fight of his Bellator deal, a move to the UFC would be no surprise.
He’s undoubtedly been one of the biggest stars in Bellator for years and won the lightweight belt on three different occasions. Dana White has also been open about his interest, and admitted at the UFC 252 post-fight press conference that he’d “love to talk” to Chandler about the move.
The 21-5 star’s own interest in signing with the UFC is no secret either, and he’s been talking about how he’d match-up with some of the biggest names in the sport, including Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.
Every single one of them are on notice.
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) September 2, 2020
It’s fair to say that the 34-year-old would make a fascinating addition to the already-stacked lightweight division. That being said, he’s also teased a move to welterweight and suggested he’s open to fighting Leon Edwards.
Edwards has been without a dance partner since he beat Rafael Dos Anjos over a year ago. Although a clash with Chandler might be a fun prospect, it would certainly be a slightly left-field choice.
Despite all of the signs pointing to Chandler making his move to the UFC, there are still those who think he’ll be heading to Asia so sign for ONE Championship.
The obvious, blockbuster match-up for him at ONE would be a trilogy bout with Eddie Alvarez.
Michael Chandler: “There’s no doubt that Eddie Alvarez is the greatest dance partner I will ever have. My career will never be fulfilled without us finishing that trilogy fight. Finishing that trilogy with Eddie needs to happen. It could be the greatest trilogy in MMA history.” pic.twitter.com/PtHuZhLDOS
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) January 10, 2020
It’s certainly a fight that Chandler has courted in the past, but Alvarez recently shot down the idea as he has other opponents in mind—namely ONE lightweight champion Christian Lee.
Where would you like to see Chandler end up, and who should he fight next?