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Michael Chandler: Signing with UFC was to ‘chase the competition,’ not the money

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Michael Chandler discusses his decision to sign with the UFC amidst all the other offers from other organizations.

For many fighters today, money is a huge motivating factor when signing with an organization. But for Michael Chandler, it’s about the quality of opponents.

The former three-time Bellator champion recently spoke with Brendan Schaub about how he came up with the decision to sign with the UFC as he was entertaining offers from other companies.

“The UFC is where I wanted to land, for sure,” Chandler said on Schaub’s “Food Truck Diaries” (via BJPenn.com). “But you are not making a smart business decision as a free agent unless you at least entertain all the offers. All the offers were great, both financially and also just the people.

“Being able to sit across the negotiation table with PFL, with ONE Championship and obviously still continue to talk to Bellator at the same time was an interesting process. But as soon as I sat in that room at the UFC offices, I was like, ‘This is where I’mma end up.’ 72 hours later, we got a deal done.”

Chandler admitted that while the UFC didn’t offer the most money, it had the better level competition. That, for him, bore more weight.

“It wasn’t the most (money) but it was more of a competition thing,” he explained. “I’ve made decisions on financial incentives many times. It worked out for me for a long time in Bellator.

“I think some people chase the money, some people chase the competition. Somewhere in the intersection between the two could be the right option for a lot of people. For me, the UFC offer was the right deal at the right time, and it’s the most exciting division in the entire UFC right now.”

Chandler signed with the UFC in September and served as the back-up fighter for either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He has yet to finalize his debut.