UFC Signs Michael Chandler, Will be Backup For Nurmagomedov – Gaethje
Recent speculation had Michael Chandler moving to the UFC, and today, Dana White announced they've signed the former Bellator champ.
Michael Chandler’s ten plus year run with Bellator has officially come to an end, as the former, three-time lightweight champ has signed with the UFC.
Not only that, but UFC President Dana White has also announced that Chandler will serve as a back-up fighter for the upcoming scrap between lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, and interim champ Justin Gaethje.
White announces Chandler will serve as backup at UFC 254
The 34-year-old Chandler (21-5) wrapped up his last Bellator deal in August, by quickly taking out former UFC champ Benson Henderson. Leading up to the fight, Chandler said he intended to test the free agent market.
The decorated and heavy-handed fighter never said he wouldn’t return to Bellator. But he made it clear he wanted to test the market.
Well, on Thursday, White reported on ESPN Sportscenter that Chandler has indeed, signed with the UFC. Not only that, but Chandler will also serve as an emergency backup for the October 24th, Nurmagomedov – Gaethje fight.
📝 @MikeChandlerMMA is headed to the Octagon.
— UFC (@ufc) September 17, 2020
Obviously adding Chandler to the UFC’s roster is a huge addition, and it will be interesting to see how does fighting the promotion’s top lightweights. For a long time, he’s been regarded as one of the best lightweights in the world.
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It’s also interesting to see the UFC’s decision to have him serve as a backup for the Khabib – Gaethje fight. Clearly White and the UFC brass think very highly of Chandler (but knock on wood that bout still proceeds).