Michael Chandler, a former Bellator lightweight champion, signed with the UFC and hoped to get a chance to fight someone in the top 5. However, none of them showed interest in the new competitor.
It was Dan Hooker who offered to ‘smash the new toy’ from the UFC. Chandler would make an impressive debut, finishing Hooker early in the first round. After this victory, Chandler began to be mentioned as a potential Dustin Poirier matchup, after also winning on the same night against Conor McGregor.
Dustin disagreed, and stated that Chandler did not deserve the chance, having only 1 fight in the promoter.
But now, three months later, Chandler will have a chance to fight for the vacant title at UFC 262 on May 15. While Poirier rejected the title fight to make the trilogy with McGregor. For Chandler, the trilogy has many risks for Dustin, and he believes that he is bound to win. Dustin missed a great opportunity to grab the 155-pound gold, and if he lost to Conor, it will take time for another starting opportunity to present itself.
“Now they are 1-1, it is a fight that Dustin cannot lose. He knows he went from a title fight to taking the trilogy with McGregor. So there will be a lot of pressure on Dustin, he missed the title shot that he might not have again for a while. It will take a fight or two to get a chance for the belt again, it could be me, and Conor if he wins the trilogy. “
“I lean towards Conor. I think he has power in his hands and that he will make some adjustments. When he loses, he always comes back a better fighter. A more skilled fighter, more complete. We will see what happens in the fight. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing it. “
Right now, Chandler is focused on his match against Charles Oliveira, focused on his title fight. He states that he did not know that he would have the opportunity after his debut, so early. He is ready to face anyone in the division.
“The UFC has to keep going. UFC met with Khabib and he said he was absolutely retired. It’s over. So the UFC should make a decision. I don’t know what calls they made, I don’t know if they called Dustin, Gaethje, Oliveira, anyone. All I know is that I got a call asking if I wanted to fight for the vacant title on May 15 and I said ‘yes absolutely.’ I didn’t care against whoever it was. This is how it happened. “
If Michael wins the lightweight title at UFC 262, he claims he will face everyone in the division. You won’t have to wait for a call or be challenged to have a fight in the future.
“From my point of view, I respect and admire everyone in the lightweight division, it is the most electrifying category in the UFC right now. I am happy to be a part of this and to have the opportunity to be number 1. The man with the gold around his waist, I will be in a position where no one will want to face me. I want to fight everyone. I want everyone to be on my win list, and it will happen in due course. “
“We talk about Conor, about Gaethje, about Ferguson. You talk about these amazing competitors, tough guys. We’ll fill stadiums, sell PPV, do amazing things, and continue the legacy of the lightweight division. We will be the best division of the UFC, of all promotions and of all divisions. “