Former Bellator champion Michael Chandler fought out his contract, in an effort to test free agency. However he says that if he does move to the UFC, he will want to jump into the deep end right away.
Without a doubt, Chandler is Bellator’s best home grown talent. He has been with the promotion since his fourth professional fight, putting on incredibly exciting fights, and winning their lightweight title on three different occasions. It seemed like a certainty that he would retire here and never fight in the UFC, but he recently chose to fight out his contract, brutalizing Benson Henderson in his final fight, and test the waters of being a free agent.
Michael Chandler Wants A Top Five UFC Opponent
Although there has been no word on if the UFC is interested in signing Michael Chandler, he is still very interested in the idea of signing with the promotion. However, as he told Luke Thomas, if he does come to the UFC, he does not want to fight just anyone. He says that he would be gunning straight for the top of the deep lightweight division.
“At this point, if I make a move, I’m going old school Michael Chandler,” he said. “The kid who was 18 years old, who had a glimmer in his eye, who said ‘I’m going to go wrestle Division 1 at the University of Missouri,’ when mom and dad said don’t do it, grandma and grandpa said don’t do it, high school coaches said don’t do it. Everybody around me from my small town said ‘Why are you going to walk into a Division 1 team? What if you’re a punching bag? What if you never start? What if you never wear the singlet? What if you quit? What if, what if, what if.’ I said I don’t care, if I’m going to do this, it’s going to be at the highest level.
“So if I do make a change or make a decision, I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time,” Chandler continued. “I’m not going and fighting someone who’s number 20 in the world, I’m not fighting number 25. I’m going straight to the top 5. I want Ferguson, I want Poirier, I want Conor, I want somebody in that 5-6 range.
“Throw me in there with the wolves man. Sink or swim. Let’s prove these people right, or prove these people wrong.”
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) August 11, 2020
Whether it is with the UFC, ONE Championships, or back to Bellator, Michael Chandler wants to fight the toughest opponents possible, for the most amount of money. This is a sentiment that has to be respected, and hopefully it works out for him.