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Chandler: ‘UFC is Dana White, and Dana White is the UFC, and that’s a beautiful thing’

Having fought under both organizations, Michael Chandler gives his opinion on what separates the UFC from Bellator.

Michael Chandler and Dana White greet each other at the UFC 257 presser in 2021.
Michael Chandler and Dana White greet each other at the UFC 257 presser in 2021.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Prior to his current run as the UFC’s number five-ranked lightweight contender, Michael Chandler was a star of his own at Bellator. He fought for the organization for a decade, where he held the 155-pound title three times and put on a memorable fight with Eddie Alvarez in 2011.

Chandler recently guested on Patrick Bet-David’s Valuetainment podcast where he was asked about the differences between Bellator and the UFC. This was his response:

“Dana’s just on a different level when it comes to the celebrity. Dana’s a huge, huge name. When he speaks, people listen. When he speaks, it is mixed martial arts, ‘cause he’s been doing it for so much longer,” he said.

“Dana’s a little bit more brash, Scott’s a little bit more reserved, (and) there’s pros and cons to both of those. From a media and PR perspective, I’m sure you can talk to the UFC about that.

“I will say I think Scott Coker takes growing Bellator seriously, but not as serious as Dana. I think Dana eats, sleeps, and breathes… it’s his identity. It is his lifestyle. It is him. The UFC is Dana White, and Dana White is the UFC, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

Chandler has been going to bat for UFC president Dana White amid fighter pay criticisms, which didn’t sit well with his fellow competitors. He is currently slated to face former interim champion, Dustin Poirier, at UFC 281 on November 12 in New York City.