Thursday, March 4, 2021

Michael Chandler Explains How He Ended Up Fighting Dan Hooker

Michael Chandler has had a rollercoaster of a ride to finally make his UFC debut.

After Chandler signed with the UFC, the former Bellator lightweight champion was rumored to face Dustin Poirier or Tony Ferguson at UFC 254. However, neither fight came to fruition and he ended up being the backup fighter for the lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

After serving as the backup fighter, Chandler was then rumored to face Ferguson at UFC 256 but that did not happen. Finally, the former Bellator champ will face Dan Hooker at UFC 257, and Chandler detailed how all this came together.

“We settled on Dan Hooker. He actually stepped up and said he wanted to fight me and I welcome that. I welcome all the trash talk,” Chandler said to MMAFighting. “All the belittling. All the name-calling. But it really doesn’t matter. Once you step in that cage and the octagon door locks, it’s going to be 15 minutes of may the best man win and I’m excited to go out there and test my skills and I’m ready to go out there and prove that I deserve to be in the upper echelon of the UFC lightweight division and a guy who should be stepping into a title shot in 2021.”

When Chandler signed to the UFC, he wanted a top-ranked guy but revealed it was hard to get them to sign. He does give a nod to Hooker and Felder for calling him out and he is excited to finally make his Octagon debut.