Former Bellator MMA lightweight winner Michael Chandler has signed an exclusive arrangement with UFC and will function as a possible copy to the company’s highly anticipated lightweight title fight in October.
UFC president Dana White declared Chandler’s registering SportsCenter.
UFC lightweight winner Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) is scheduled to defend his title against interim champion Justin Gaethje (22-2) in UFC 254 on Oct. 24 on Fight Island at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. White stated Chandler will journey to Abu Dhabi and also make weight, in case that Nurmagomedov or Gaethje has been made to withdraw.
Chandler (21-5) was considered one of the best fighters competing external UFC for ages. Competing entirely in Bellator because 2010, Chandler lately fought his contract August and analyzed free service for the first time in his profession.
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Chandler, 34, supported the registering to ESPN through text message.
“Eventually, hard work pays off. You just have to still be standing there when it does,” Chandler told ESPN. “I’m humbled by the opportunity and can’t wait to go prove what I have been saying for the past 11 years; that I’m the best lightweight in the world. See you at the top!”
ESPN rankings Chandler since the No. 7 lightweight on the planet. He held that the Bellator name three times in his career, first winning the tournament in 2011 by beating Eddie Alvarez at a fight-of-the-year candidate. Chandler’s highest-profile wins have come against Alvarez and former UFC winner Benson Henderson, whom he conquered twice. Chandler’s last loss came into Bellator’s featherweight champion Patricio Freire at May 2019.
UFC attempted to reserve a lightweight battle between Tony Ferguson (25-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6) to the identical date but couldn’t come to terms on a deal with Poirier. Ferguson publicly campaigned to salvage the struggle, but UFC finally turned into Chandler as a backup for the UFC 254 pay-per-view.
Sources told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani which UFC provided Poirier a struggle against Chandler on Wednesday however, the sides could not come to terms. One difficulty was exactly the same as previously — cover — but resources also stated Poirier desired to show the exact same devotion to Ferguson, who advocated him openly and privately.