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Michael Chandler officially signs with UFC

Michael Chandler
Michael Chandler
Soumik Datta
Modified 17 Sep 2020

American Mixed Martial Artist Michael Chandler is no longer a free agent. The former Bellator Lightweight Champion has officially signed a deal with the UFC.

On Thursday, UFC President Dana White confirmed on ESPN's SportsCenter that Chandler, who entered free agency after his last fight in August for Bellator, has officially agreed to a deal with White's promotion.

In addition to that, it was also confirmed that Michael Chander could possibly even compete in his first UFC fight at UFC 254, as he is set to serve as the back-up for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Title bout. In case reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomdov or challenger Justin Gaethje decided to pull out of their scheduled fight, Chandler will be the one replacing either man in the PPV headliner.

Michael Chandler's legacy in Bellator

Michael Chander competed under the Bellator MMA promotion for almost a decade. The former Bellator Lightweight Champion first signed with the company in 2010 and the following year, Michael Chandler ended up defeating former UFC Lightweight Champion, Eddie Alvarez to win Bellator's lightweight strap.

After multiple fights with the promotion, Michael Chandler faced The Underground King in a rematch at Bellator 106 in another instant classic. But, this time, it was Alvarez who walked out as the winner.

A veteran of the fight game, Michael Chander has already shared the cage with some of the deadliest sharks out there, in the form of Brent Primus, Patricio Freire, and in his latest fight, the 34-year-old reigned supreme over Benson Henderson, via first-round knockout.

Now serving as a backup for the Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje fight, there have also been several talks of Michael Chandler possibly facing former interim UFC Lightweight Champion, Tony Ferguson. Especially after the possible cancelation of the fight between El Cucuy and Dustin Poirier. While it remains to be seen who Chandler's first Octagon opponent is going to be, his addition to the 155-lb division certainly adds a lot of excitement, in what many could easily consider as the most stacked division in the UFC.

Published 17 Sep 2020, 23:26 IST
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