Welcome to Midnight Mania!
In a short period of time, Michael Chandler has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about the best Lightweights on the UFC roster. “Iron” has only been fighting inside the Octagon since 2021, but he’s already thrown down with several former champions and top-ranked Lightweights.
He’s been all-action the whole time.
In short, Chandler has a fair bit of experience trading blows with elite strikers from Dustin Poirier to Charles Oliveira to Dan Hooker. His career against top talent goes a lot further back than those recent performances, but with that current resume, Chandler has better perspective than most on the current Lightweight pecking order.
In a recent video on UFC’s YouTube channel, Chandler offered his thoughts on each of the 15 ranked Lightweights. Perhaps the most notable bit was his comments on Rafael Fiziev, whom he labeled “the most talented striker in all the world.”
“He’s so dynamic,” Chandler explained (via MMA Junkie). “We obviously get to watch him in the octagon and get to see the performances he puts on. He’s very exciting, but I’ve gotten to train with him. When you watch a guy in training and then you see him translate that perfectly onto his competition, it’s really fun to watch. I think he’s the most talented striker in all the world. Not just the UFC lightweight division. He’s a guy we could see go out there. I think he’s matched up against Justin Gaethje now. That’s going to be a real fun one. I’m really interested to see who wins that one.”
Fiziev is indeed scheduled to throw down opposite Gaethje at UFC 286 on March 18 in London. As for Chandler, there’s a notable omission from his list: Conor McGregor! It took a very long time, but McGregor is no longer ranked at 155 lbs. or any other division. However, “The Notorious” is Chandler’s next dance partner, and the two will square off some time later in the year filming The Ultimate Fighter.
Drew Dober believes he’s fight Paddy Pimblett later this year, and dear lord, Pimblett better learn to tuck his chin or move his head if that’s true!
We working on some big things this year. https://t.co/6v6Y5PAPkZ— Drew Dober (@DrewDober) February 15, 2023
Too much info? Maybe, but it’s pretty common to lose all libido during fight camp.
Alexander Hernandez says his dick didn't work during the drop to featherweight for his last camp #UFCVegas69 pic.twitter.com/btuE6dNhBc— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 15, 2023
Jake Paul can get OFFICIALLY recognized if he takes out Tommy Fury.
‼️ WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has announced that Jake Paul will be officially ranked in the WBC cruiserweight world rankings if he beats Tommy Fury on Feb 26th.— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) February 15, 2023
Sean Strickland is currently in first place in the “most likely to be murdered by Jon Jones” rankings.
What a morning eh pic.twitter.com/pbAIlZro36— Heavyweight Thanos (@MMAThanos) February 15, 2023
... THE RETURN OF HUGGY BEAR!
Chris Barnett will fight Chase Sherman at #UFC287 on April 8th. #UFC #MMA #UFCMiami #UFCESPN #UFC2023 pic.twitter.com/DoFtjNF3t9— Marcel Dorff (@BigMarcel24) February 15, 2023
Walt Harris is an interesting analogue for Ciryl Gane. A Southpaw with the necessary quickness and size — could be worse!
This is how you shut down injury rumors!
Slips, rips, and KO clips
It’s impossible to say this about any recent outcomes without being accused of bias or cope or delusion, but anyone who knows this sport well knows that the worse fighter wins pretty often.
Alexander Hernandez KOs Beneil Dariush in 42 seconds— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) February 13, 2023
Since this fight in 2018,
Dariush is 8-0
Hernandez is 4-5
Crazy Sport pic.twitter.com/lGqFuRutJz
Jens Pulver was the size of a modern Bantamweight and hit like a Welterweight.
Still beyond hyped for Jens Pulver. What an OG pic.twitter.com/LQ2lbT3k3O— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 14, 2023
Getting tired against a more experienced opponent is a bad idea.
A psychological test where nobody can tell whether the person is moving left or right. pic.twitter.com/insbsgCYNp— Historic Vids (@historyinmemes) February 14, 2023
Midnight Music: Alternative, 1989
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 286 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 286: “Edwards vs. Usman 3” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.