Last Saturday at UFC 257, Michael Chandler (22-5) finally made his debut with the world’s premium MMA organization. Chandler spent the majority of his career at Bellator where he became a three-time lightweight champion.
He was always considered one of the best in the world, but with him not fighting in the UFC, many didn’t give him credit. At UFC 257, he made his debut against Dan Hooker (20-10). Stylistically, this was a very tough matchup for Chandler.
Hooker is a sensational striker, incredibly tough, and he’s tough to take down and keep down. Not too mention the fact that he’s very tall for the weight class and uses his kicks and knees extremely well to keep distance.
There were questions around if Chandler could get in range to hit Hooker or even take him down. Well, at UFC 257, Chandler answered all of the doubts emphatically. Chandler put Hooker out and he did it with his striking in the first round.
Michael Chandler is an elite wrestler, but he’s scored three straight first round knockouts on the feet. He’s got ungodly amounts of power in his hands to go along with his elite wrestling skills. He proved he’s going to be a problem in the UFC‘s lightweight division.
The UFC’s New Company Man
Michael Chandler has made it clear from the jump that he’s there to be a company man. That’s why he was willing to be the UFC 254 backup for the promotion. Chandler traveled to Fight Island, quarantined, and made weight despite not fighting.
He was also willing to take any opponent in the UFC’s top six for his first fight regardless of the style. For that reason, he’s already becoming a favorite of Dana White. Dana White said he knew within seconds of talking to Chandler that he wanted to sign him when he was a free agent.
A couple of days ago, Chandler posted on his Instagram Story that he received a call from Dana White. Chandler said in the post that he’s happy to be the UFC’s new yes man. We can likely draw the conclusion that the promotion asked him about a potential fight.
With how quick the debut was, Chandler will likely get turned around quickly. No telling who Dana White was offering Chandler on the phone, but we know when the UFC calls, Chandler is going to say yes. For that reason, he’s going to become a quick favorite of the promotion and the fans.