If Michael Chandler wants to make the jump to the UFC, promotion President Dana White is certainly willing to listen.
Speaking at the UFC 252 post-fight press conference, White had some high praise for the Bellator lightweight, who is a three-time champion in the rival promotion. Chandler recently stated that he was looking for a meeting with the UFC brass, while he navigates the waters of free agency for what could be the final time in his career.
“I would love to meet with him. Yeah. That guy’s earned it, man,” White said Saturday when asked about Chandler’s request. “I’d love to meet with him.”
Chandler (21-5) recently fought out his Bellator deal with a knockout win over ex-UFC champ Benson Henderson. It’s the second win for “Iron” Mike Chandler over Henderson. Which puts him in a situation reminiscent to that of Eddie Alvarez years prior, when he also made the switch from promotion to promotion.
The Alvarez signing was marred by a contract dispute which led to a court case, delaying Alvarez moving to the UFC. It’s doubtful that scenario would play out with Chandler, given the regime change that transpired around that time, which saw Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney ousted, and Scott Coker brought on board to run the promotion.
In any case, at 34, it’s likely Chandler’s last chance to move to the UFC, if he desires. There remains plenty of compelling fights for him with Bellator, however, where he has long been the face of the promotion.