After winning his UFC debut, what’s next for Michael Chandler?

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) fights Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday at UFC 257, Michael Chandler (22-5) made his highly anticipated promotional debut. Chandler competed in the co-main event against Dan Hooker (20-10) and many were expecting it to be a tough fight for Chandler.

However, Michael Chandler made a massive statement at UFC 257. Chandler was extremely aggressive in the first round and never gave Hooker the opportunity to get comfortable inside the octagon.

Hooker was being pressured along the cage and never really got a chance to start throwing. Halfway through the round, Chandler through a right straight to the body and followed with a massive left hook up top.

That hook put Hooker down and Chandler followed up with a couple of shots that gave him the knockout win at UFC 257. There were high expectations for Chandler and he passed with flying colors on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC 257?

Immediately following UFC 257, Dana White said that Chandler would likely meet Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) for the vacant UFC lightweight title. This is of course assuming that Khabib Nurmagomedov remains retired.

The promotion seemed keen on capitalizing on the eyeballs that were on the card Saturday night. However, Dustin Poirier didn’t sound too enthusiastic about fighting Michael Chandler after Saturday night.

In his post-fight press conference, Poirier made it clear that he wouldn’t be fighting Michael Chandler next. He talked about the fact that Chandler only has one win in the UFC and that shouldn’t warrant a title shot.

In all honesty, I can see where he’s coming from. However, at the end of the day, what the UFC want is ultimately what will happen. That said, I tend to believe that Chandler will not be fighting for the title next.

Chandler strikes me as the type of guy who’s willing to take another fight to prove the point that he deserves the shot. If there’s difficulty in making a UFC title fight for him, I could see him taking on another top contender.

One guy that I think makes a lot of sense for Chandler is Justin Gaethje (22-3). Gaethje is the fight that Chandler originally wanted and he was just the interim UFC lightweight champion. If Chandler can beat Gaethje, there’s no denying the fact that he deserves a title shot.