Michael Chandler | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Now a free agent, three-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is definitely on the UFC’s radar.
That’s according to UFC President Dana White, who was asked at Saturday’s UFC 252 post-fight press conference if he’s interested in signing the longtime Bellator standout. Chandler recently competed the final bout of his previous contract in a fight at Bellator 243, where he defeated former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson by first-round knockout.
“I would love to meet with him,” White said. “That guy’s earned it, I would love to meet with him.”
Chandler (21-5) is widely regarded as one of the best lightweights to never compete inside the cage. The 34-year-old rose to stardom with a 12-0 start to his pro career that included a fourth-round submission of Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58.
In recent years, Chandler holds notable wins over Henderson, Brent Primus, Patricky Freire, and David Rickels. Across three separate reigns, Chandler successfully defended the Bellator lightweight championship three times in total. He has won five of his past six fights.
Following his win at Bellator 243, Chandler was noncommital on his future, leaving the door open to re-signing with Bellator should he decide not to leave for new opportunities.