Michael Chandler is planning to prove to the world he is the best lightweight after signing with the UFC.
Chandler is a three-time Bellator lightweight champion, and after knocking out Benson Henderson in his most recent effort, became a free agent. He was arguably the biggest MMA free agent in quite some time. On Thursday it was announced he has signed with the UFC. He will also serve as the backup fighter for UFC 254.
For Michael Chandler, why he signed with the Las Vegas-based promotion was simple. He told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto he is humbled to sign with the promotion. But, he plans on proving he is the best.
Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) via text: Eventually hard work pays off, you just have to still be standing there when it does. I'm humbled by the opportunity and can't wait to go prove what I have been saying for the past 11 years; that I'm the best 155er in the world.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 17, 2020
Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) via text: Eventually hard work pays off, you just have to still be standing there when it does. I’m humbled by the opportunity and can’t wait to go prove what I have been saying for the past 11 years; that I’m the best 155er in the world.
Chandler is currently on a two-fight winning streak with both coming by first-round KO over Sidney Outlaw and Benson Henderson. Before that, he suffered a TKO loss to Patricio Freire to lose his lightweight title. In his career, he has notable wins over Eddie Alvarez, Patricky Freire, Marcin Held, and Goiti Yamaguchi among others.
It would be something if Chandler ends up having to step up to fight either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He is being thrown to the deep end and could get a title shot in his first fight in the promotion.
Yet, if that fight stays together, perhaps Chandler will make his debut against someone like Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, or Dan Hooker. Regardless, this is a welcomed addition to the already stacked lightweight division for the UFC. Chandler also gets his shot to prove he is the best lightweight in the world.
How do you think Michael Chandler will do in the UFC?