In signing with the UFC, Michael Chandler decided to pursue greatness instead of chasing the money.
Michael Chandler became a free agent this summer after his Bellator contract expired, and he took his time weighing all his options. Chandler had been a Bellator athlete for a full decade prior to his free agency. That type of longevity requires a lot of success and also a lot of loyalty. But after winning his final Bellator bout at Bellator 243, Chandler felt that it was time to move on. Chandler knew the promotion he now wanted to call home, but he had to get together with all the major players to be sure.
“The UFC is where I wanted to land, for sure, but you are not making a smart business decision as a free agent unless you at least entertain all the offers. All the offers were great, both financially and also just the people,” Chandler told Brendan Schaub on Food Truck Diaries. “Being able to sit across the negotiation table with PFL, with ONE Championship and continue to talk to Bellator at the same time was an interesting process. As soon as I sat in that room at the UFC offices I was like this is where I was going to end up. 72 hours later we got the deal done.”
With UFC veterans like Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson being publicly disgruntled at the fact that Michael Chandler was going to make more money than them if either of them accepted a fight against him, one might assume that the UFC landed this big signing by outbidding the competition. But on the contrary, Chandler would have earned more money by signing elsewhere but chose to sign with the UFC for the opportunity to craft a legacy that money cannot buy.
“It wasn’t the most but it was more of a competition thing. I’ve made decisions on financial incentives many times. It worked out for me for a long time in Bellator,” Chandler said. “Some people chase the money, some people chase the competition. Somewhere in between the two could be the best option for a lot of people. For me, the UFC offer was the right offer at the right time and it’s the most exciting division in the entire UFC right now.”
Michael Chandler has shared that he has begun a training camp, which means that the very first fight on his quest for top competition should be announced any day now.
How do you think Michael Chandler will fare in the UFC?