Former Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler fell short in his quest to add a UFC belt to his mantle, going down on strikes to newly-crowned 155-pound kingpin Charles Oliveira earlier this month at the UFC 262 pay-per-view (PPV) in Houston, Texas.
“Iron” expects to rebound and capture the crown before his career is up.
In order to accomplish that rather lofty goal, Chandler, 35, will likely need to get past No. 2 ranked lightweight contender Justin Gaethje, though former UFC champ Eddie Alvarez believes Chandler will become another victim of the “Highlight” reel.
“I think Gaethje is a terrible matchup for him,” Alvarez told The Sun. “And I think he should probably stay away from Gaethje. That’s not a good matchup for him. But we’ll see, man. It’s really up to him and his desire. We’ll only know on fight night.”
The 30-9 (1 NC) Alvarez has history with both fighters, trading wins and losses with Chandler when they were both lightweights for Bellator MMA. “The Underground King” would eventually transition to UFC and score a knockout win over Gaethje at UFC 218.
Then drop four of his next five.
Chandler (22-6) remains ranked No. 4 at 155 pounds but could face stiff competition from the winner (or perhaps even the loser) of the Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor trilogy at UFC 264 in July, depending on how things shake out.