After a few weeks of wondering, the news has become official. Former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler has signed with the UFC, and he could have a potentially crazy first fight in the promotion.
When Chandler revealed that he was fighting out his Bellator contract and testing free agency, it came as a shock. He had been with the promotion for almost the entirety of his career, and has always been happy with his treatment there. However he revealed that as his career is starting to draw closer to its end, he wanted to try to earn the most amount of money possible, while also fighting the best people he could. Therefore it was expected that he might sign with the UFC, and even face Tony Ferguson in his debut.
Michael Chandler Signs With The UFC
Now after a few weeks of testing free agency, it seems Michael Chandler has found his new home. It was revealed that when speaking on SportsCenter, Dana White has announced that the three-time Bellator lightweight champion has signed with the UFC. Not only that, but the UFC President explained that he will be in Abu Dhabi, serving as a backup for the UFC 254 lightweight title fight, between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
“UFC signs Michael Chandler, per Dana White on @SportsCenter. He will be the backup for Khabib vs. Gaethje in October. Huge news. And happy for Chandler. He was always grateful and happy at Bellator, but he’s wanted to face UFC lightweights for a long time.”
UFC signs Michael Chandler, per Dana White on @SportsCenter. He will be the backup for Khabib vs. Gaethje in October. Huge news. And happy for Chandler. He was always grateful and happy at Bellator, but he's wanted to face UFC lightweights for a long time.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 17, 2020
This news is massive, and honestly a bit of a surprise considering they are potentially giving Michael Chandler an immediate title shot. As far as another opponent for his debut, provided nothing happens to Khabib or Gaethje, there has not been any word yet. Although the aforementioned Tony Ferguson fight still seems possible, even if some people feel that Ferguson should have been an alternate for UFC 254.
What do you think of this signing by the UFC?