At UFC 262 this weekend, Michael Chandler will be facing Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title. However he would not be opposed to moving up to the welterweight division and trying his hand at a second title too.
With just one fight in the UFC, former Bellator lightweight champ Chandler has done the impossible: earned a crack at UFC gold. Of course, given the impression he made with his first round TKO over Dan Hooker in his promotional debut.
Of course, there was more to it than that, as the situation in the division also helped to make that a possibility. With the title being vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Dustin Poirier being more interested in a trilogy with Conor McGregor, this allowed Mike to sneak in for a quick title shot.
Thoughts On Poirier vs McGregor 3
Regardless of the outcome between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler at UFC 262 this weekend, the winner will almost certainly be facing the winner of Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3. So naturally, there has been a cloud looming over these two fights, with fans wondering how things will shake up.
So when the former Bellator champ was asked if he had a preference for who he would like to face, if he did become champ, it was surprising to see that he does not have a preference. That said, when speaking to TMZ, he explained that he would be happy for a big money opportunity against McGregor.
“The great thing is, either of them. They’re number 1 and number 1a in my book. Honestly whoever wins that fight, I will be in attendance in the front row there, in Vegas on July 10th, I’ll be watching keenly to see who my next opponent is,” Chandler explained.
“Dustin Poirier is a heck of a fighter, consummate professional, great fighter inside the Octagon, great dude outside of it. I want to see Conor come back. There’s nothing better than when a guy as big as Conor McGregor falls short, loses, and then is able to pull himself back up. It’s a huge storyline.
“So obviously the athlete in me wants to fight the winner of it. The businessman in me wants to fight Conor of course,” Chandler concluded.
“All of it hinges upon me having a phenomenal performance on May 15th. So we take care of business, then we go there July 10th, enjoy a weekend in Vegas and see who my next opponent is going to be. But either way, that’s going to be a great fight, and I’m going to be there for sure.”
Michael Chandler To Welterweight?
He is not looking to get ahead of himself, but Michael Chandler was asked about the idea of moving up to welterweight once he got the belt, and trying to become a champ-champ. To be honest, he says that he is not opposed to the idea.
That said, Mike made it clear that he and welterweight champ Kamaru Usman are friends, so he is not in a rush to do that. However if he gets a few title defenses under his belt, he would give it some thought.
“Thinking about a welterweight title definitely would be reserved for a situation in which I win the title first and then defend it at least once, if not twice. I want to come into this lightweight division and solidify myself as the top guy, as the premier lightweight,” Chandler said.
“There’s no secret, Kamaru Usman is a friend of mine. The dude is an absolute savage, he looks unbeatable. He really has lapped the division, and that’s just a testament to him, his hard work. I’ve bene around him, I’ve trained with him, not only is he a phenomenal fighter, but he does things right. He lives the life of a champion, and his performances show that.
“I would not be a legitimate size for the welterweight division, but there’s definitely some fights at welterweight that I would enjoy. Jorge Masvidal’s arguably a 155lb-er. Nate Diaz calls himself a welterweight, but he’s really a ’55lb-er. Kamaru Usman, I’ve trained with him, we’ve sparred together, he’s not a huge 170lb-er,” Chandler continued.
“I get up over 190, so I wouldn’t be the smallest welterweight in the division. Something I’m definitely interested, but we’ll cross that bridge after I win this title and defend it a couple of times.”
Who do you see winning the lightweight title this weekend, at UFC 262? Would Michael Chandler have a chance of winning a second title at welterweight?