Michael Chandler thinks many fighters in the UFC are avoiding him because of his growing reputation as one of the most violent men in the promotion.
Win, lose or draw, ‘Iron Mike’ has cemented himself as one of the most dangerous fighters in the lightweight division after just three fights in the UFC.
Chandler’s last fight saw him drop a unanimous decision to Justin Gaethje at UFC 268, but the 35-year-old gained the respect of the fans with his gutsy performance.
After standing toe-to-toe with a knockout artist like Gaethje for three rounds, Chandler can understand why so many fighters don’t want to fight him.
“I know there’s a lot of guys one foot in, one foot out of the violence of the sport. I’m all in,” Chandler said during a recent appearance on Bussin With The Boys (h/t Curtis Calhoun of MMA News). “I love it, which is not a good thing necessarily. I think it’s a scary thing. I think there’s a lot of guys at the 155 division that doesn’t want to fight me because of that. I think every single fan on the mixed martial arts planet wants to watch me fight now, so you weigh both sides of it.”
Chandler is 1-2 since signing with the UFC in 2021 but has only lost to the divisional elite. The former three-time Bellator lightweight champ is currently #5 in the UFC lightweight rankings. In his next fight, he would like to take on Conor McGregor.