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Report: Michael Chandler in Advanced Talks With UFC

After fighting for Bellator the past decade, it looks like Michael Chandler could throw down in the UFC's Octagon soon.

For a long time, plenty of people have wondered how Michael Chandler would do against the UFC’s best, and it looks like we may find out soon.

Michael Chandler
Image Credit: Bellator

UFC is reportedly the front-runner to sign Chandler

The 34-year-old Chandler (21-5) finished up his Bellator contract last month, by quickly taking out Benson Henderson at Bellator 243. Leading up to the fight, Chandler was upfront about his intention to test the free-agent market.

The former lightweight champ never said he wouldn’t resign with Bellator. But, the powerful wrestler made it clear he was interested in talking to other promotions, including the UFC.

Well, after Chandler became a free agent, UFC President Dana White said he wanted to talk with the star. Now ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that sources have informed him the UFC is the “front-runner” to sign Chandler, and that the parties are in “advanced talks”.

Who could Chandler fight? If he signs with the UFC?

Helwani’s story also notes that Chandler is being floated as a possible opponent for Tony Ferguson, now that talks for a bout between “El Cucuy” and Dustin Poirier have failed.

Given what Chandler accomplished during his Bellator run, and on account of his abilities, it’s certainly a match-up that makes sense. 

That said, does Ferguson want to run the risk of losing to a fighter, who may not be a familiar name with the mainstream, UFC fans?

Then again, Ferguson doesn’t have a lot of options right now, in terms of fighters who are ranked in the top five. Dan Hooker is ranked #5, and his coach Eugene Bareman believes he’d be down to fight Ferguson.

But it doesn’t look like the New Zealand fighter will be ready to compete next month. 

Conor McGregor is sitting in the #4 spot, but, he’s apparently retired.

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