The consensus has always been that the UFC holds the most talent in the sport of MMA. But as with any topic, there are always those who disagree. Some maintain that there is no one promotion that is clearly superior to the others in terms of talent. Those who adopt the latter belief or who believe that another promotion has the superior talent to the UFC often have direct ties to a UFC competitor.
Michael Chandler knows what it is like to fight for an organization that is competing against the UFC, and as of UFC 257, he will know what it’s like to compete in the UFC. But heading into his UFC 257 bout against Dan Hooker, Michael Chandler believes he already has enough information to say with confidence that there is no MMA promotion that hosts more talent than the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“I’ve been outside of the UFC and every single time I trained for the guys I’ve stepped in the cage with, I wasn’t training to fight them. I was training to fight the No.1 guy in the world, and the No. 1 guy in the world has always been in the UFC banner,” Chandler said during the UFC 257 pre-fight press conference. “I was always training to beat that guy, so I’m sizing everybody up.
“Last time I was here on ‘Fight Island,’ I saw Khabib (Nurmagomedov). I saw (Justin) Gaethje. And man, these are the upper echelon. These are the guys I’ve always wanted to compete against since day one, and now I get the opportunity. I just have to go out there and take care of business on Saturday night.”
Michael Chandler Confident in Résumé Ahead of Toughest Tests
Michael Chandler will be taking on #6-ranked lightweight Dan Hooker in the co-main event of UFC 257 tonight. Chandler has already professed his respect for Hooker in recent interviews, and he continued to do so in the UFC 257 press conference. However, he was sure to remind the public that he has shared the Octagon with athletes who have competed in the UFC as well as other premiere talent throughout the course of his 12-year MMA career.
“This is the toughest competition that I will ever to face in my entire life,” Chandler said. “But when you look at my résumé, when you look at my track record, guys like Eddie Alvarez, Benson Henderson – these were champions here in the UFC.
“Granted, it was a couple of years later. But I’ve been competing at a high level since I was 14 years old. I’ve been dreaming of this day just in case it ever did come, and now I’m fully prepared to take the opportunity head on. All these guys are the best in the world, and the UFC lightweight division is the most hyped, the most electrified division in the UFC today. It was a perfect time to insert my name into the mix.”
How much Chandler’s name will rise inside of this mix will begin to be determined in a matter of hours when he makes his highly anticipated UFC debut against Dan Hooker at UFC 257.
How do you think Michael Chandler will fare in the UFC?