Michael Chandler was so close to becoming the next UFC lightweight champion back in UFC 262. In the first round of the fight, he was almost finished Charles Oliveira with strikes, but unfortunately never finished the job. One would think that Chandler would sit out the rest of the year and come back stronger for the next but that is not the case.
Michael Chandler will fight again this year. His 3rd fight with the @ufc will be late winter 2021. No opponent or date set yet.
— MMA UNCENSORED ™️ (@MMAUNCENSORED1) July 1, 2021
It is reported that he plans to fight one more before the year ends, the question will be who should he fight? Chandler may have fought only twice for his UFC run, but he is still a top 5 ranked fighter. There are a lot of contenders that come up that would make sense for Chandler’s bounce back fight.
Since Chandler is coming off a loss, it would make sense he fights Justin Gaethje since both of their last loss were from a title fight. Not only that but their stylistic match up would be a guaranteed fireworks. Two heavy-handed fighters that could end each other’s night in one punch. Both came from a D1 wrestling background, so it would be a big fight.
Beneil Dariush also needs one more win before fighting for the title, he may be on an impressive win streak and just beat Tony Ferguson but the next title contender would likely be the winner of Poirier vs McGregor 3. Dariush also aims to stay active and Chandler is a true test whether he is worthy a title shot next.
Former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos could also potentially fight Chandler since he is coming off a win and a fighter ranked number 7. One could say that Chandler had that Dana White privilege where he fought for the title too early and was given special treatment. So it would make sense for him to fight a lower ranked opponent.