The all-new addition to the UFC's packed lightweight division, Michael Chandler, is all set to make his debut with the promotion on January 23.
While he is yet to land at Yas Islands for the fight, he did entertain his fans while quarantining in a hotel room in Las Vegas. Fans immediately flooded his Instagram live with questions, anticipating his tenure with the UFC.
One of the very first questions that sprang up was whether he would consider moving up a weight class. In response, Michael Chandler said,
"There are a couple of guys in there. Colby Covington. Jorge Masvidal. A couple of other guys at 170 that I would love to fight."
Both "Chaos" Colby Covington and "Gamebred" Jorge Masvidal are great fighters by all standards. The fact that Michael Chandler recognizes the threat these two pose as fighters, and is willing to engage, shows that he is here for business.
Michael "Iron" Chandler is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion. His resume highlights his ability to fight well both on the ground and in stand-up. There is a perfect blend of KOs and submission wins on his resume which makes him a tough opponent.
However, it does not seem likely that he will permanently shift his weight class to face Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.
What does Michael Chandler think about shifting his weight class?
Even though he likes the idea of fighting certain fighters at welterweight, Michael Chandler prefers to stay at lightweight. Addressing a user who asked him whether he would ever move up a weight, Michael Chandler said,
"I don't think so. I would actually love to fight at 170. But it would have to be the right opponent. Like Conor does, fight 155-pounders at 170 pounds. Not actually fighting true 170-pounders. I think weight-wise, I'm big enough to fight at 170. I could get up to 190. But height-wise, reach-wise, it's just not an optimal weight class for me. However, I think 155 is the perfect weight class for me."
Michael Chandler seems confident about his stay at the lightweight division. Ironically, he mentioned a disbalance in reach as one of the reasons behind not wanting to move up. Dan Hooker, Michael Chandler's opponent at UFC 257 holds a massive reach advantage over him.
The two will square off in the co-main event of UFC 257. With Conor McGregor fighting in the main event, Michael Chandler certainly has the perfect stage to make his debut statement memorable, as long as he is able to capitalize.