‘3 Huge UFC PPV’s in 12 Months’- Michael Chandler Closes 2021 with a Message to His Fans

Published 12/26/2021, 9:20 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Michael Chandler battles Dan Hooker during the UFC 257 event at UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler took to social media and sent out a Christmas greeting to his fans while also looking back at the year. ‘Iron’ Mike entered 2021 as one of the biggest free-agent signings in the modern iteration of the UFC. Chiefly, in just his second UFC fight, the former multiple-time Bellator MMA champion had already fought for the lightweight title.

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By the end of the year, Chandler leaves 2021 with a 1-2 overall record and is currently on a two-fight skid. However, his year has been filled with several highlights that took him to unparalleled levels of stardom in the fight game. Chandler was quick to recognize the blockbuster year he just had and called 2021- ‘the best year of his professional life.

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Anointing 2021 as the best year of his professional career is undoubtedly a huge statement to make, considering the things Chandler has already achieved. From his break-out Fight of the Year candidate bout against Eddie Alvarez to win the Bellator strap to his more recent Bellator wins, Michael Chandler has no shortage of highlights.

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However, even his UFC defeats in 2021 saw his personal stock grow significantly.

A review of Michael Chandler’s 2021

Iron’ Mike kicked off the year with a standout performance that earned him a UFC title shot. He knocked out Dan Hooker at UFC 257 in January, which was the event headlined by Conor McGregor’s UFC return. The extra eyeballs coupled with an iconic Ric Flair-inspired post-fight promo led everyone to take notice of Michael Chandler.

At UFC 262, Michael Chandler would end up losing to Charles Oliveira as he was trumped via TKO in round two. His defeat was especially crushing since Chandler almost stopped Oliveira via strikes in the first round.

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However, a massive swing in momentum led ‘Do Bronx’ to come out on top and walk away with the title.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 15: (R-L) Charles Oliveira of Brazil punches Michael Chandler in their UFC lightweight championship bout at Toyota Center on May 15, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Chandler’s last performance of the year was at UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden, where he put on a ‘Fight of the Year’ performance against Justin Gaethje.

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Despite losing rather decisively in the end, Chandler showed a tenacity rarely displayed inside the octagon. This earned him respect across the MMA world.

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Darryl Pinto

2133 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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