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Chandler: Every top-five lightweight wouldn’t fight me, except Conor McGregor

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Michael Chandler understands why no one wants to fight him yet in the UFC, but he’s happy Dan Hooker signed on.

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler was hoping to make a big splash in the UFC in his first bout. He’s having trouble getting top-flight competition to sign on the dotted line to fight him though. Chandler is an intelligent guy, and he understands that there’s not a lot to be gained for top guys facing off with him, but he’s still a bit disappointed.

He does have a fight lined up for UFC 257 now, against sixth-ranked Dan Hooker. Chandler explained to TSN that he’s just happy for the opportunity (transcribed by

“Obviously I wanted to fight, two, three, four, or five before I fought number six. But, beggars can’t be choosers, Dan Hooker was the guy who said yes when everyone else said no. Here we go, January 23 we get a great opportunity, I’m excited about it.”

He says that four out of the top fighters at 155 pounds wouldn’t face off with him, except one Notorious man. But he gets it:

“Every single one of them in the top-five, besides Conor. They all, and rightfully so. These guys have cut their teeth in this organization. These guys, everybody in the top-five have fought in the UFC’s lightweight division for five to ten years, these guys have put their time in, their blood, sweat, and tears. I realize I was an outsider, a newcomer, a darkhorse. I realize nobody wanted to really be the first guy who stepped into that Octagon with me, I completely get it.”

Nevertheless, Chandler meets Hooker in the co-main event of UFC 257, which goes down January 23rd on Fight Island. The headliner will see McGregor face off with Dustin Poirier.