Chelsea Chandler Focused on Jiu-Jitsu, Feels More Well-Rounded Ahead of UFC Vegas 88

Invicta FC veteran Chelsea Chandler looks to bounce back from a loss Norma Dumont this Saturday at UFC Vegas 88, as she drops down to the bantamweight division in the wake of 145lbs being mothballed by the promotion.

Despite coming off a loss heading into a fight with Brazilian Josiane Nunes, Chandler isn’t putting any extra pressure on herself.

“I always put an insane amount of pressure on me, on myself. I feel like training has been the same, I just have a little bit more of an emphasis on certain arts, my jiu-jitsu,” Chandler (5-2) told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview ahead of the fight. “I feel like last fight camp I didn’t really do a ton of jiu-jitsu, and I should have, and I paid for that.”

The emphasis has been back on that area ahead of UFC Vegas 88, along with “a lot of wall stuff, a lot of striking,” Chandler explained. “So I feel like I’m more well-rounded for this fight, and I’m excited for it.”

Of course, coming back from a loss in fighting is not like other sports. There’s no week in, week out schedule in MMA after all. As Chandler put it, “the bad thing about fighting, it’s not really bad but it’s not like basketball or baseball where you have games every week. You get to redeem yourself the next week, you get to work on stuff that week. With fighting, everybody remembers you for your last fight. You can get into a bad slump, and not do good, and if you let it take over it can take over.”

Chandler, to combat that, works on what she needs to, watches her fights back, and tries to fix what she can.

This weekend, Chandler, who did compete at bantamweight in her pro debut, moves down in weight after a run at 145, which no longer exists in the UFC. “I’m excepting to be bigger, stronger than a lot of these girls because I’m a big girl,” she noted.

Bigger she will be — unfortunately Chandler missed weight on Friday. As for the move, and whether it was forced on her, “Yeah, yeah. Forcing,” said Chandler. “I signed up as a UFC fighter at bantamweight, so I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re forcing me. But I would prefer to be at featherweight.”

Watch our full interview with UFC Vegas 88’s Chelsea Chandler above.

Correction: this story originally identified Chandler’s opponent as Pannie Kianzad. Chandler is facing Josiane Nunes, while Kianzad fights Macy Chiasson on Saturday.