‘My Dad Got Me Into Wrestling’ – Here’s How Michael Chandler Chose Fighting as a Career

Published 04/05/2021, 6:20 AM EDT
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)


‘Iron’ Michael Chandler is one of the most popular lightweight fighters of this era. The former Bellator champion is a great combat athlete and is all set to challenge for the UFC lightweight belt at UFC 262.

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We all know and love the Michael Chandler we see today, but few know how it all began for ‘Iron’. Born in High Ridge, Missouri, Chandler was a tough young man, and from an early age knew what he wanted to do in life.

Chandler has an MMA record of 22-5. These numbers show us the talent and hard work that Chandler has put in to become this phenomenal fighter.

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How did it all begin for Michael Chandler?

Right from the time he was a child, Chandler has always had wholehearted support from his parents. He knows that fact and acknowledges it whenever he gets the chance.

During an interview, Chandler talked about how his parents worked much harder than him and made sure he is what he is today.

“I can sit here and tell you that I am a world champion because of the hours that I’ve put in, the sacrifices that I’ve made. But if I didn’t wake up every single morning knowing that my Mom and Dad outwork me every single day, then I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Iron’s first experience with combat sports came when he was just 5 years old. Chandler’s father was the one who got him interested in wrestling.

When I was 5 years old, my dad got me into wrestling… I don’t know it was hard on me; I think wrestling is such a hard sport for young young children.”

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Chandler knew he was going to do something special

It takes many years for people to believe in their ability, many never believe that they have what it takes, but Chandler was not one of them. After just his first match, ‘Iron’ knew he could achieve a lot more in the sport.

“My first match in high school was on varsity and I went out there and I won. It kind of gave me that confidence that shoot if you just won a match on varsity, you’re only a freshman. Let’s see what you can do.”

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Chandler had a tough childhood, and he knows hardships as his parents worked two jobs to make ends meet. He knows life is not always a walk in the park and however hard you get hit, you just need to get back up and get at it again.

“You get so many things thrown at you and this life is meant to break you if you will let it, you just keep getting back up and you just wipe the sweat off your brow and just keep moving forward.”

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Chandler’s journey is inspiring, and many people can learn from the same. As of now, Chandler is all set to face ‘Do Bronx’ Charles Oliveira at the UFC 262 main-event for the top prize in the industry.

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Paras Pande

142 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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