Former Bellator Lightweight Champion, Michael Chandler is yet to make his UFC debut. No official announcement from the UFC of Michael Chandler fight booked but is optimistic that the fight is a top 5 fighter.
Michael Chandler was the scheduled back up fighter for the Khabib vs Gaethje fight. He successfully did a weight cut and made weight. So that means he cannot get back fighting as soon as other contenders since he needs recovery from the weight cut.
Dana White said
“The problem with Michael Chandler right now is he stepped up for that fight and he cut weight, so he can’t turn around as fast as these other guys can right now. We can’t do that to him,” he said. “So, no hurry, take his time, get his body back together. We’ll get him something soon.”
Tony Ferguson has made two weight cuts prior to the interim title fight against Justin Gaethje. Ferguson said the weight cut did not factor in his loss but fans think that it did factor but who knows.
Michael Chandler has had a fair share of success in Bellator but always teased the fans of joining the UFC. He has also fought and beaten Former UFC Lightweight Champion, Benson Henderson. Although he lost, the war with Eddie Alvarez was one of the best fights in Bellator history. Chandler won the first one but the second one was the one that was put on the radar.
Many fans were excited about Chandler signing with the UFC since he is an accomplished wrestler and has fought UFC caliber fighters but never went to the UFC until now. Like #1 lightweight Justin Gaethje, Chandler is also an NCAA Division Wrestler so his is top notch resume wise.
With Khabib retiring but Dana thinks he will come back, The next lightweight title fight is still not yet announced. It was semi-confirmed that the Mcgregor vs Poirier fight will just be a contender main event fight.
Michael Chandler has also shown interest in fighting Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson due to their high ranks. If he beats either of them, he is guaranteed a top 5 ranking instantly.
Chandler was also known for calling out Khabib since his style of fighting could match well with Khabib’s grappling. He said that his wrestling background is his key to victory against Khabib. But Justin Gaethje was also a Division 1 wrestler was out grappled easily by Khabib.
What makes Khabib so dominant is his relentless grappling. If he fails a takedown, he will attempt it again and again until he succeeds. The biggest problem is when he successfully takes his opponent down, it is a nightmare for everyone. He will either maul or submit.
With or without Khabib in the division, it is still one of the most exciting divisions due to how stacked the talent is in the division. Conor Mcgregor is easily the biggest name in the UFC so that itself is enough for the promotion. Michael Chandler is also an addition to the already stacked card.
The UFC is probably planning to make Khabib vs Mcgregor II which would easily be the biggest fight in UFC history. The money that it will generate could possibly be in the top 5 biggest PPV buys.