Michael Chandler has taken a calculated risk by signing up to be the backup fighter for UFC 254
Michael Chandler is a former Bellator Lightweight Champion who signed with UFC earlier this year.
UFC and Chandler both subsequently confirmed that he’s been roped in to serve as the backup fighter for the UFC 254 headlining matchup between Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Interim Lightweight titlist Justin Gaethje.
Certain sections of the MMA community believe that Chandler may have made a significantly risky decision.
Fans are of the opinion that if Gaethje or Nurmagomedov pulls out from UFC 254, Chandler would have to step in and fight one of the top two Lightweights in a high-pressure main event bout in his debut for Dana White's organization.
Dana White praises “great kid” Michael Chandler
In the interview with BT Sport, Dana White shed light upon his conversation with Michael Chandler, asserting that the former Bellator Champion is “another great kid”.
White explained that he spoke to Chandler over the phone once and loved speaking to him. Additionally, the UFC President noted that he was on an airplane during his conversation with the new signing and spoke to him for around five minutes.
White added that after his phone call with Chandler ended, he called up his lawyer and instructed him to sign the former Bellator fighter.
The UFC President also asked his lawyer to ensure that they sign Chandler at all costs. White stated –
“We talked for five minutes on the phone. That’s all I needed to do, was hear him for five minutes. What a great, great kid this kid is.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Furthermore, White weighed in on the fact that several of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s past fights have failed to come to fruition, with either The Eagle or his opponents withdrawing from the scheduled bouts.
White alluded that Nurmagomedov’s upcoming fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 could suffer a similar fate.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that Michael Chandler stepping in and serving as the backup fighter for the aforesaid UFC 254 main event matchup is an admirable decision made by the former Bellator fighter. White said –
“So for him (Michael Chandler) to come out and take this chance to possibly get this title fight is brilliant. I mean it’s what you should do! I mean it’s why Gaethje is here right now.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
What are your views on Dana White’s statements regarding Michael Chandler? Sound off in the comments.Published 22 Oct 2020, 06:10 IST