New UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler has released his first statement since leaving Bellator and signing with the UFC.
Chandler is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion and for years he has been one of the top 155lbers outside of the UFC. On Thursday, UFC president Dana White confirmed the world’s leading MMA promotion has signed Chandler and he has been officially named as the backup for the upcoming UFC 254 lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje.
Taking to his social media after signing with the UFC, Chandler released a statement discussing taking his talents to the Octagon. Here’s what he wrote on Instagram.
Humbled by the opportunity. Galvanized by the road we took. Can’t wait to put on a show for you guys. To my fans, thank you for being with me on this journey. And if you just started with us…pull your hat down tight because we only know one speed! See you at the top!
As you can see from the image Chandler posted, every single fighter in the lightweight top-15 is on notice for “Iron Mike” as he gears up for his official UFC debut. While there is certainly a chance either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje could fall out and Chandler could jump in and replace either man, there is also a good chance that he ends up fighting someone else in the top-15 for his UFC debut.
If you aren’t too familiar with Chandler, he has been one of the top lightweights outside of the UFC for nearly a decade. It was in 2011 that Chandler defeated Eddie Alvarez in a “Fight of the Year” candidate and over the years he has defeated the likes of Benson Henderson, Patricky Pitbull, and Brent Primus. He is a major addition to the UFC lightweight division and there are plenty of exciting fights in store for the fans.
How excited are you to see Michael Chandler finally fight in the UFC?