Michael Chandler



Legendary knockout of Tony Ferguson
May 7, 2022
Chandler defeated Tony Ferguson via KO (front kick) at 0:17 of Round 2 at UFC 274 on Saturday in Phoenix.
Chandler has become one of the most popular fighters in the company in the span of four fights and tonight showed exactly why. Chandler dug deep and managed to survive an early knockdown from Ferguson. Once he got his wits together, he planted Tony with a takedown and generated some offense from top position. Once Round 2 began, Chandler nearly decapitated Ferguson with a front kick that resulted in one of the most epic knockouts in the history of the sport. It was so brutal and violent you couldn't help but feel for Tony. The end result highlighted both Chandler's finishing ability and his resiliency, in addition to earning him a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuse. Chandler took full advantage of his post-fight mic time, challenging both the winner of the Charles Oliveira v. Justin Gaethje fight scheduled for later in the evening, in addition to challenging Conor McGregor for a fight at 170 pounds. Any of them sound like a good idea. Chandler is a star.
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Matching up with Tony Ferguson
March 9, 2022
Chandler agreed to fight Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout at UFC 274 on May 7, Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated reports.
Chandler fell to Justin Gaethje, who is challenging Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title on the same card, via unanimous decision in November and has lost his last two bouts. Ferguson has also been scuffling with three straight losses, the last of which came via unanimous decision at the hands of Beneil Dariush. Both fighters are in need of the victory, and the winner will solidify their spot in the lightweight rankings.
Drops epic battle to Justin Gaethje
November 6, 2021
Chandler lost to Justin Gaethje via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 27-30) at UFC 268 on Saturday in New York City.
Chandler needs to win a fight sooner rather than later, but his stock has gone through the roof despite the fact he has lost back-to-back fights and is sporting just a 1-2 record with the UFC. Chandler landed more than his fair share of damage in what was an epic back-and-forth war, but that's not the type of fight you want to engage in with Gaethje. Chandler had difficulty stopping Justin's low kicks and that limited his maneuverability for virtually the entire fight. He survived a huge knockdown in Round 2 to threaten in Round 3, but the damage was already done as far as the scorecards go. On the plus side, Chandler will almost certainly be walking away with a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus (later confirmed by UFC President Dana White). There were concerns Chandler made his name beating up inferior competition in Bellator, but after three UFC bouts, it's safe to say that isn't the case. That said, Chandler's margin for error as far as the title picture at 155 pounds has evaporated. He will be 36 years of age next April, and no fighter who fancies himself a contender can afford three straight defeats, regardless of how entertaining they are.
Returning at UFC 268
July 30, 2021
Chandler has agreed to face Justin Gaethje in a lightweight bout at UFC 268 in November, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
Chandler most recently fought in May, when he lost to Charles Oliveira via TKO (punches) at UFC 262 and was unable to secure the UFC Lightweight Championship. He'll take on another former title contender in Gaethje, who lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov via technical submission (arm triangle) at UFC 254 in October of 2020. Gaethje has advantages in both height and reach.
Quest for title comes up short
May 15, 2021
Chandler came up short in his quest for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Charles Oliveira via TKO (punches) at 0:19 of Round 2 at UFC 262 in Houston.
Competing in the UFC for just a second time, Chandler appeared to be seconds away from stopping Oliveira on multiple occasions in Round 1. He clamped on a very deep guillotine in addition to another instance in which referee Dan Miragliotta nearly stepped in following countless unanswered power shots from Chandler. Oliveira ultimately survived, and Chandler ate a counter shot early in Round 2 that turned the tide of the fight. It was over seconds later. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Chandler handled the defeat with pure class, praising Oliveira and promising to be back and better than ever in the near future. There's no reason not to believe it. Chandler has proven to be an elite 155-pounder in his brief time with the company, and the 35-year-old Missouri native should be back in the Octagon sooner rather than later.
Gets title shot at UFC 262
March 19, 2021
Chandler will face Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 262 on May 15, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
It's a bit odd to see a 155-pound title fight without Dustin Poirier involved in it, but Dana White and the UFC brass will instead ride Chandler's momentum from a first-round knockout win over Dan Hooker in his January debut in the UFC. A former Bellator Lightweight Champion, Chandler is at the edge of his prime at the age of 34, so the UFC figures it will get this done sooner rather than later. He'll be giving up two inches in height and three inches in reach to Oliveira, a submission specialist averaging 2.64 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time. Chandler is a NCAA DIvision 1 All-American wrestler himself, however, so the skills to remain upright are certainly there. He also owns more KO/TKO wins than Oliveira in his career, so Chandler's best path to victory will likely be to build on his Performance-of-the-Night winning effort against Hooker and get the stoppage.