In perhaps some of the more exciting news to reach the MMA sphere in recent memory, former Bellator lightweight Champion Michael Chandler has signed a deal with the UFC. This comes on the heels of an impressive first round knockout of Benson Henderson just over a month ago.
The left hand put Benson Henderson down and then @MikeChandlerMMA finished it from there 😤
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 8, 2020
Now with that being said, what do I consider Chandler’s ceiling? That is a very fair and tough question because while he may not be in the prime of his career currently at 34 years of age; he still possesses some of the best skills in the world at 155 with exceptional wrestling and heavy hands. The question as always remains, was it a case of a big fish in a small pond as in was the lack of competition that showed his dominance or can he come to the UFC and make some immediate noise.
Dana has already said that Chandler will serve as the backup fighter if Khabib or Gaethje somehow are unable to make the fight at UFC 254 on October 24th, 2020. To say he is being thrown to the deep end may be the understatement of the year if that does occur. I have the utmost respect for Chandler, he has a wealth of experience and does hold multiple wins over former UFC lightweight champions in Eddie Alvarez and Benson Henderson so he certainly is no slouch. That being said I would caution taking him against Khabib or Gaethje. I’m no matchmaker but I think one fight makes more sense than all the others and to me that is putting Chandler up against Conor McGregor.
Listen I’m as far away from a fan of Conor McGregor as can be but you can’t say to yourself with a straight face that the guy doesn’t put up enormous PPV and revenue numbers for the UFC. Hell look at what he did to Cowboy in January of this year.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 19, 2020
It was an awe-inspiring finish of one Cowboy Cerrone in less than a minute which stamped him back in the UFC and the MMA world’s good graces. Now does that mean he will run over Michael Chandler? Not a chance. However; it does makes sense from both a business standpoint and it helps Dana quiet the doubters of Conor McGregor because as good as Michael Chandler is, he has never seen a guy who brings the punching power and striking acumen that Conor does every single fight night and vice versa, Chandler will be the best wrestler Conor has seen since Chad Mendes and that was over 5 years ago.
It makes perfect sense to me so Dana let’s make that fight. The fans want it and most importantly Michael Chandler wants it so lets get it done.
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