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.
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For 2 minutes and 9 seconds you guys got to see the culmination of all the hard work that has been put in over the last 5 months. – I’m the one who gets my hand raised, but it takes a team, a support system and a family to get me there. – I can’t tell you how excited I am about the future of @sanfordmma – not only are we winning fights, we are consistently dominating in a way that few teams are right now. – In order to have great fighters, there needs to be great leadership and I believe we at @sanfordmma have the best leadership on the planet. – @henrihooft makes me feel like I can drop a horse with my hands. @hkickboxing keeps it simple and keeps us devastating. He’s the kind of coach you want to hit that extra gear for because you know he cares as much as you do. There is no man in the entire world I’d rather go into battle with. Thank you for being the man you are. – @coachgjones is a wrestling legend in his own right and has now grown into one of the best mma wrestling coaches in the game. – @kamibarzini is a wizard on the mats and his track record speaks for itself when it comes to producing champions. – @drcpeacock has the team bigger, faster, stronger and in shape like none other. His degrees and experience in the weight room has us on the cutting edge of performance. – The in camp team is important but none of this would not be possible without the love and sacrifice of my beautiful wife @briechandler who has been with me on this journey for 7 years and has never once wavered in her humility and service to this calling on my life. – Behind every great performance she has been my rock. Behind every setback, she has been the comfort I want to come home to. And at every turn, she is my inspiration to keep pushing and pursuing this dream God has put on my heart. – I love you with everything I am and everything I ever will be @briechandler , you are my favorite human in earth and I am humbled by your love for me…I adore you. – Thank you Lord for this life I get to live. – The best is yet to come. – See you at the top!
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.”
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.