After spending much of his career fighting under the Bellator title, winning the promotion’s lightweight title on numerous occasions and being considered one of the best fighters not in the UFC, Chandler would sign with the promotion in 2020. From the start of his tenure with the promotion, he has been in nonstop action fights, competing for the title and having all-out wars in each of the four bouts he has had so far.
Tyron Woodley Inspired Michael Chandler
You will be hard pressed to find people who do not agree that having Michael Chandler in the sport of MMA has been a great thing. However, according to the man himself, he may not have ever even ventured down this path in life, had it not been for former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Speaking on the PBD Podcast, Chandler discussed how he and Woodley wrestled together at the University of Mizzou, alongside fellow UFC alumni Ben Askren. Moreover, Chandler explained that seeing the way Woodley approached his MMA career, taking multiple amateur fights to hone his skills, inspired him to take the idea of a career in MMA more seriously.
“Tyron paved the way for us because me and Ben [Askren] came out of college, I graduated in May of 2009, fought my first pro fight in August 2009 with almost 0 training, but Tyron had a slower road. He had like seven amateur fights because he just didn’t have the connections because life isn’t about what you know; it’s who you know, right?” Chandler said.
“Tyron’s trying to get into mixed martial arts but has no idea how to do it. Finally, he meets these guys at American Top Team, he’s able to get pro fights, and then he starts his pro career, obviously. So Tyron was the one who first started throwing hands and hitting mitts and that kinda stuff, and I started watching him, and I thought, ‘Man, that would be cool.’”
While the relationship between Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren has been well documented, it was not as well known the kind of impact the former champ has had on Michael Chandler. It is interesting to think about how differently their MMA paths have gone since those days at Mizzou.
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.