Michael Chandler recently hinted at the possibility of jumping over to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks after fulfilling his contractual obligations with Bellator MMA. And he did so by teasing a potential fight against none other than former interim Lightweight title holder, Dustin Poirier.
But it seems the former Lightweight champion of the world is looking a bit higher up on the food chain, as a fight against former UFC champ-champ, Conor McGregor, has also garnered his interest, saying it would be the “perfect match up” on social media.
And there better not be a “who the fuck is that guy” response from McGregor since Chandler has long been one of the best 155-pound fighters on the planet and one of the poster boys for Scott Coker and Co. Of course, McGregor claims to be retired at the moment and UFC President, Dana White, recently stated that if and when he mounts another comeback it won’t be in 2020.
And that’s okay because should Chandler sign with UFC he has plenty of options including Justin Gaethje, a fight Michael says would be “the most exciting MMA fight of all time.” And then there is always a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, though Chandler will likely have to win a few fights before he gets to the top dog.
While there is still plenty of negotiating to do with not just UFC but perhaps ONE and PFL, Chandler says Bellator may have missed out by not locking him down with an extension months ago.
“But Scott Coker had the opportunity to sign me five months ago, six months ago, four months ago before this fight happened, and it didn’t happen,” he said on the “What the Heck” podcast.
“So there’s not a huge time that we need to sit here and negotiate, Scott. You had the opportunity, you let me go into free agency. You said I’m not 21 years old anymore but I just finished the best lightweight you have on the roster besides me. I don’t really understand why it needs to be any longer than right now. Let me see what I’m worth.
“What will ONE FC offer me? What will PFL, the UFC offer me? Maybe Dana thinks I suck. Maybe Chatri’s like, “Maybe that trilogy with Eddie sounds cool, but we don’t want to pay you that much.’ Maybe that’s the case. I doubt it, but let me go see what I’m worth.”
Chandler was last seen knocking out Benson Henderson at Bellator 242 on Aug. 7, 2020, giving him his second win over the former UFC champion (see it again here). That was the last fight on his current deal with the Viacom-owned promotion, and White expressed his interested in the scrappy combatant.
All that’s left to do is to have a sit-down and perhaps iron out some financial details to possibly see Chandler compete inside the Octagon.