Michael Chandler says he hired sports psychologist to combat fears of "career death sentence" after going 688 days without winning fight

Michael Chandler (pictured) recalls a down period in his career with Bellator [Image Courtesy: Getty Images]
Michael Chandler (pictured) recalls a down period in his career with Bellator [Image Courtesy: Getty Images]

With two months remaining until his career-defining fight with Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler is no stranger to facing adversity in his career.

As the media attention increases on 'Iron' with the long-awaited fight now official, Chandler joined former Navy SEAL Shawn Ryan on The Shawn Ryan Show to discuss his career arc through 15 years as a professional MMA fighter. On the podcast, Chandler opened up about what he recalls was one of the most difficult periods of his career after losing the Bellator lightweight championship for the first time.

Chandler said:

"I went 688 days without winning a fight. That, for a mixed martial artist, could be a career death sentence. That's when the doubt continues to compound on itself. So I hired a sports psychologist. I really started realizing I can do all the physical stuff but if I'm not building up the mind, I'm really just making a more dangerous [but] subpar version of the man that I am supposed to be."

Check out Michael Chandler's comments below:

The three-fight losing streak Chandler referenced spanned across 2013 and 2014 as the wrestler lost three consecutive lightweight title fights to Eddie Alvarez and Will Brooks. Chandler realized defeat for the first time in his career in a split-decision loss to Alvarez at Bellator 106 before losing to Brooks twice the following year.

After beginning his career 12-0, Chandler fell to 12-3 with the losses but bounced back in 2015 with a first-round submission of Derek Campos that started his run back to the title. Entering the fight with McGregor, the three-fight losing streak still stands as the longest of his 31-fight career.

Michael Chandler looks to overcome a similar hurdle against Conor McGregor at UFC 303

Losing three fights in a row was a tough mental challenge for Michael Chandler to deal with early in his Bellator career but 'Iron' specifically mentioned the number of days he had to endure without a win in that time. As the lightweight prepares to return to the octagon in June against Conor McGregor, he will face a similar situation, having not fought since UFC 281.

Chandler last lost to Dustin Poirier by submission in November 2022 but is not currently on a losing streak. However, he has not picked up a win since knocking out Tony Ferguson at UFC 274. By the time he steps into the octagon on June 29, it will be over two years since he last had his hand raised.

Since signing with the UFC in 2020, Chandler is just 2-3 but owns signature knockout wins over Ferguson and Dan Hooker.

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