Michael Chandler had a disappointing night at UFC 262. However, despite the loss, Chandler remains one of the most talked-about fighters in the division.
‘Iron’ Chandler made a bright start to his title fight against Charles Oliveira on Saturday. Although Oliveira had Chandler in a lock, the former Bellator man was able to break free and almost knock out Oliveira. Unfortunately, Michael’s early success was in vain as Oliveira came out all guns blazing in the second round. Eventually, Oliveira won the fight via KO/TKO in the second round.
Following the loss, Chandler has been very keen to speak his part. “Watching him (Oliveira) win it, there’s like a weird kind of ‘happy for him too’ if I can take away my selfish me, competitor hat off”. Chandler explains how fighting Oliveira was like a surreal feeling for him. Moreover, he assures his fans by saying, “I’ll be back, and I’ll be fighting for that title again”.
Previously, Chandler made an explosive entrance into the UFC following his move from Bellator. In his first fight itself, Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker in the opening round. His power, explosiveness, and how he carried himself in the post-fight interview were enough to convince Dana White to give him the title shot.
Although Chandler lost the fight, his performance in the first round left many impressed. Arguably, Chandler was the closest to knocking out Oliveira than anyone for a long time. Moreover, he also ‘won’ the first round 10-8 according to two of the judges’ cards.
What’s Next for Michael Chandler?
Currently, Michael is focused on recovering and doing his fatherly duties. However, he still considers himself a top contender and will be keen to prove that over the course of the year. Interestingly, Chandler claims that he would be champion in the next twelve months, in his post-fight interview.
For now, the lightweight division is a complete ‘shark tank’. Tons of exciting, competitive fights are either already announced or in the making. Moreover, Charles Oliveira’s lightweight title is likely to be in play again before the end of the year. As for Chandler, he will have to pick his next few opponents very carefully.
Firstly, Chandler should eye the loser of McGregor vs Poirier 3. Both McGregor and Poirier are high-profile names and regardless of their trilogy result, it would make for a huge fight. Secondly, Michael should challenge the former No.1 contender Justin Gaethje as this would elevate him to once again fight for the title.
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