Michael Chandler Says He Refused to Wait Anymore For a Fight

Published 01/06/2021, 8:54 AM EST


Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler will make his much anticipated UFC debut later this month. Chandler will fight Dan Hooker in the co-main event of UFC 257 on January 23.

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In a recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, Chandler revealed he didn’t want to wait any longer for other opponents, so he agreed to fight no.6 ranked Dan Hooker.

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)

We don’t know what Justin Gaethje is gonna do. Justin Gaethje had the opportunity to fight me. He goes out there and fights little old me, he gets that win that he needed, and then he is next in line for the title. But instead, he wants to sit out and wait,” said Chandler.

“I was not gonna wait. That was the biggest thing. I could’ve said no, I’m not gonna fight Dan Hooker because he is ranked no.6. So, what do I do? I just sit around and wait? I can’t just keep waiting. I don’t wanna keep waiting.

“I’ve not been waiting by my own decision making. I’ve been waiting because guys haven’t said yes. Dates haven’t lined up. And now January 23, Dan Hooker is the night that I make my UFC debut,” said ‘Iron.’

Michael Chandler will look to make his first opportunity count

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Tony Ferguson was Chandler’s first choice as an opponent for his UFC debut. But Dan Hooker is more than capable of turn Chandler’s fairytale debut into a nightmare. And he acknowledges that, too.

With McGregor and Poirier fighting in the main event, there will be eyes on Chandler. He can certainly set up a potential big fight next if he manages to dispatch Hooker impressively.

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Chandler is an experienced veteran with a great skillset. So, he will be looking to make the best use of his arsenal and put up a showcase performance for the fans.

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Apratim Banerjee

889 articles

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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