‘Give Him Whatever He Wants’- Dana White Reveals How He Found Michael Chandler

Published 05/11/2021, 2:24 AM EDT
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 24: UFC President Dana White interacts with media during the UFC on FOX press conference on January 24, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The one-half of the UFC 262 main event, Michael Chandler entered the UFC Lightweight roster last year in 2020. ‘Iron’ was floating around as a free agent after his last fight against Benson Henderson in the Bellator MMA. Many people speculated he might join the ONE Championship as a lot of Bellator fighters do. But finally, Chandler got signed by the UFC on September 2020.

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In an interview with Aaron Bronsteter, Dana White revealed the story behind signing Michael Chandler. White said, When we were getting ready to sign him I was literally sitting on the runway getting ready to take off. My lawyer called me and said we are on the one ward line with this kid or whatever.”

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)

White continues, “Will you just get on the phone and talk to him? I talk to him for 5 minutes the nicest kid in the world great attitude wanted nothing more than to be in the UFC and fight for a UFC world title. I called Hunter back and said I don’t care what he wants. Get it done give him whatever he wants sign this kid I love him.”

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Dana White praised Michael Chandler for his attitude

The honest and humble attitude shown by Michael Chandler impressed the UFC president Dana White. ‘Iron’ looked flexible in his approach and was willing to negotiate with the company as they would want him to. ‘Iron’ happily accepted the offer to become the backup fighter for the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (R-L) Justin Gaethje kicks Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He made the championship weight but couldn’t fight as the fight went on with the actual participants. It gave him a spotlight before actually fighting in the Octagon. This impressed the boss, which helped him in his quick rise to the top.

White said “Comes in willing to fight anybody willing to go anywhere and do anything will be the backup will do this will do that and you know that type of attitude and the type of fight that he fought against Hooker got him to where he is right now. Such a great guy nice totally you don’t have to play games to do this stuff. You can be a nice guy and still win.”

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 23: UFC president Dana White interacts with fans and media during the UFC press conference at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC president loves Michael Chandler and would like to see him as the next Lightweight champion.

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Do you think Michael Chandler was a prominent sign for the UFC?

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Saurabh Singh

143 articles

Saurabh Singh Laledia is an MMA enthusiast who works as a UFC writer for EssentiallySports. His passion for the UFC infused with his knowledge of various fight styles such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu motivated him to pursue a career in combat sports journalism, as it would be where he could exhibit his expert views and unbiased opinions whilst keeping the fan’s perspective alive. He started watching the sport at UFC 53 in 2005 when ‘The Ace’ Rich Franklin beat Evan Turner to claim the belt and has traced the journey of the middleweight title right from 'The Spider' to 'The Last Stylebender'.

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