Most recent UFC arrival, Michael Chandler (21-5) is ready to make a name for himself in the UFC. The former three times Bellator lightweight champion was booked as a replacement for the main event of UFC 254. With the recent retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov and a vacant title in the division, Chandler looks to put himself in title contention immediately.
Chandler was recently interviewed by Matt Sera and Jim Norton on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. Chandler talked about who he might face in his debut and wanting to fight elite competition right away.
“Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje would be number one and number two of the guys I want to fight. Chandler said, I think it’s a great introductary fight to the UFC fans of who Michael Chandler is. They’re both great fights, they’re both great guys to fight. As you guys have seen who watched my fights, guys xwho run away, that’s the best way to try to beat me is to try to run away from my pressure. Gaethje and Ferguson, they’re going to meet me in the middle of the octagon and we’re gonna have a blast.”
Chandler then takes Ben Askren and Justin Gaethje as examples of a fighter coming to the UFC and getting a big fight right away.
“I think if we do look at the past as a predictor of the future, you look at Ben Askren, he drew Robbie Lawler right away… You look at Justin Gaethje coming over a couple years ago from WSOF (World Series Of Fighting now PFL) wich, no shade towards them or his track record, but my resume, some fot eh fights and wins I have and Bellator as an organization, I think is a step above where he came from. He also drew a top-five guy in Michael Johnson. So I don’t think I’m being entitled by coming in and saying I would like a top-five guy right away.”
Chandler who isn’t currently ranked does recognize that he is in the best division in the UFC and is at the bottom of the pecking order for now. Nonetheless, he does plan on earning his place at the top.
“Let’s be honest, I share a division with the biggest name in combat sport. The most polarizing guy we may ever see and his name is Conor McGregor” Chandler added, “So if McGregor is in the weight class and there needs to be an interim belt, chances are he could be fighting and I don’t fault the UFC for that. I realize I’m the new guy, the lowest guy on the pecking order, I just want to come in and earn it.”
There have been rumors of a potential fight between Chandler and Tony Ferguson but nothing has been confirmed by the UFC. Nevertheless, Michael Chandler is well determined to prove to everybody that he belongs in the UFC and to compete for a championship.