“Hardcore Fans Know Who I Am”- Michael Chandler Wants to Steal the Show at UFC 257

Published 01/13/2021, 7:00 AM EST


The former Bellator champion, Michael Chandler, will make his much-anticipated UFC debut at UFC 257, on January 23 against Dan Hooker in an enticing lightweight clash. Chandler occupies the co-main event spot in the first UFC pay-per-view of 2021.

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Ahead of his debut, Chandler has had his critics opining that he is not world-class and will get exposed in the UFC. But, ‘Iron’ has fought only against top-quality opponents throughout his career. He is determined to prove that he is championship material in the UFC.

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Michael Chandler is who he said he was all those years and every time that I, you know, every time that I said something about being one of the best and the lightweight, or one of the best in the world, or the best in the world, every time that I said I could hang with the UFC guys or beat a lot of the UFC guys, every time that I said, I’m the hardest worker in the room, every time that I said I was born for great things. And people, people laughed at me,” said Chandler.

The hardcore fans, the hardcore fans knew it. It’s more of the casuals who just follow the UFC who look at me as this, you know, new guy coming in. And I’ve been fighting outside the UFC. So I must be a nobody,” he added.

So the hardcore fans know who I am. They know my body of work, they know my resume, they will, they will be there, their opinions of me will be solidified. And the casual fans will say okay, this guy who we thought was a nobody, and he’s not that bad,” Chandler concluded.

Michael Chandler will be keen to prove his mettle at UFC 257

There is no doubting that Chandler has been one of the very best lightweights on the planet for the past decade. He is a 3 time former Bellator lightweight champion and has been battle-tested.

SAITAMA, JAPAN – DECEMBER 29: Michael Chandler and Sidney Outlaw compete in the bout during the Bellator Japan – Fedor v Rampage at Saitama Super Arena on December 29, 2019 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

He will have his hands full against a tough opponent like Dan Hooker. An impressive win can potentially fast track him to his title aspirations in the UFC. ‘Iron’ Chandler wants to recapitulate what his former foe Eddie Alvarez, another former Bellator champion, achieved in the UFC.

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Alvarez became the UFC lightweight champion by defeating Rafael dos Anjos.

The presence of Conor McGregor will draw attention to the entire fight card. So, Chandler can certainly prove a point to the ‘casuals’ with a showcase performance.

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Can Michael Chandler become an instant hit in the UFC? Can he realize championship dreams? Let us know.

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Apratim Banerjee

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Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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