UFC president, Dana White remained coy on recent rumblings surrounding the promotion’s links with recent Bellator MMA free agent, Michael Chandler, but admitted he would be open to discussions with the former three-time lightweight gold holder.
Chandler, 34, has been a Bellator MMA mainstay since September 2010 and has become almost a poster boy for the Scott Coker led promotion. The Missouri native featured opposite former WEC and UFC lightweight best, ‘Smooth’ Benson Henderson at Bellator 243 last weekend in Chicago – finishing the veteran grappler with a stunning first-round knockout in the pair’s re-run.
That fight marked the twenty-three fight Bellator veteran’s last on his current deal, and he’s continually flirted with testing free-agency. Speaking with both MMA Junkie’s, John Morgan, and MMA Fighting’s, E. Casey Leydon – White spoke of his interest in meeting with Chandler at last night’s post-UFC 252 press-conference.
“I would love to meet with him,” White said. “Yeah, the guy’s earned it, man. I would love to meet with him.”
Chandler has tested free agency on multiple occasions in the past, but has always remained a stout feature on the Bellator books, putting pen to paper on multiple, multi-fight deals with the organization.
The NCAA Division I All-American has managed to score twenty-one professional victories – nine of which have come via knockout, and seven have landed via submission. In highlight career wins, Chandler has bested the likes of the aforenoted, Henderson (x2), Brent Primus, Goiti Yamaguchi, Patricky ‘Pitbull’ (x2), Derek Campos, the experienced, Akihiro Gono, and was involved in an incredibly memorable pair of fights with former UFC lightweight best, Eddie Alvarez.