Chandler made headlines in 2021 when he claimed that fighters in MMA are paid exactly what they’re worth for the work they do. The 36-year-old recently doubled-down on this stance by asking what UFC fighters complaining about their pay are doing to make money outside of the cage.
“He doesn’t understand that the situations of the other fighters — clearly, he doesn’t understand this cause he wouldn’t have said what he said if he did — the back stories of the other fighters that aren’t making the type of money that Michael Chandler is making, and that is the difference. I think once he looks at it from a different perspective, different lens, I think he would change what he was saying.”
Different Roads To The Top
While Sterling acknowledged that he doesn’t have all of the details of Chandler’s backstory, Sterling does think Chandler “came in with the silver spoon” following his high-profile move from Bellator to the UFC in 2021.
“The average fighter comes up, they’re not a wrestler. They’re not a national champion. They didn’t become a Bellator champion, they don’t have all those credentials and accolades,” Sterling said.
After knocking out Dan Hooker in his UFC debut, Michael Chandler challenged for the vacant lightweight title in his second fight for the promotion. The former Bellator champion came up short in that bout before losing to Justin Gaethje in a Fight of the Year performance, but recently rebounded with a highlight-reel knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274.
Aljamain Sterling made his UFC debut as an undefeated 24-year-old in 2014. He initially went 6-3 in the UFC before winning five-straight fights from 2018-2020 to earn a shot at UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan.
“Funk Master” walked away with the bantamweight belt in controversial fashion at UFC 259 after Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee, but Sterling solidified his place as champion with a split-decision win over Yan in their rematch at UFC 273.
What do you think of Sterling’s claim that Chandler came into the UFC with a “silver spoon”?