Welcome to the UFC: Chelsea Chandler

Chelsea Chandler UFC
Chelsea Chandler, UFC Vegas 61 weigh-in Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

One of two debuting talents at UFC Vegas 61 on Saturday was Chelsea Chandler. Chandler was stepping into the octagon against Julija Stoliarenko, in a fight that was originally supposed to be against Leah Letson. With Letson dropping out, Stoliarenko joined the party, moving the bout to a 145lb catchweight.

Chelsea Chandler
Standing at 5’8″
Fighting at 135 lbs (bantamwweight)
Fighting out of Stockton, California
A pro record of 4-1

How Will Chandler Fare in the UFC:

Chelsea Chandler is just five fights deep in her career but putting on entertaining fights and fighting at 135 and 145 helps her case. She trains out of California at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Chandler has put in work with the Diaz brothers and you can really see that in her fighting style. After losing her pro debut she’s won four in a row over credible opponents. Three of the four opponents she has beaten had undefeated records when she beat them.

Chandler is a grappler that will throw a lot of leather. Although her striking is dangerous her ground game is where she’s best. Her grappling as a whole is really good. Her transitions and submission attacks are really slick. She can get overzealous at times chasing a position or submission and falling to her back. Chandler hardly ever sits in any position long but will make it worth her while landing nasty ground and pound. Smashing elbows and punches are her best weapons and a lot of the time it opens the opportunity to snatch the neck when it’s there.

Chandler isn’t too technical but she has hands. She isn’t against trading in the pocket and seeing whose chin holds up. Chandler has been knocked down before but her chin has held up for the most part. Not to mention her hands have some real pop behind them. Chandler thrives off output and pressure with her striking. She is sloppy and her striking defense barely exists so relying on her durability is a big aspect.

Chandler isn’t going to beat anyone off technique or skill. She will beat women off durability and perseverance. Not many women are going to be able to dog her. Sure, her defense will fail her at times but she’s not going to make it easy on anyone.

How she matches up with Julija Stoliarenko:

Stoliarenko, like Chandler, is a scrapper. If both of these girls decide to stand and trade the whole time this could be the Fight of the Night. Both are primarily grapplers though and it’s a tight fight in those trenches. Chandler is the more physical grappler and Stoliarenko is more of a submission threat. I do think if Chandler survives the submission attacks early she will take over this fight. Chandler has bad striking defense but Stoliarenko also has poor striking defense. Stoliarenko is tough as hell but takes too much damage. I like the power, output, and gas tank of Chandler to win a close decision.