Dustin Poirier stole the show at UFC 257 with a stunning win over Conor McGregor to level the series at one win a piece. Although much of the attention has gone Poirier’s way, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler had a stellar UFC debut as well.
Going into the fight, Chandler had nothing to lose and a lot to gain. ‘Iron’ was a multiple-time Bellator lightweight champion and had secured wins over some of the biggest names in MMA. However, as MMA fans have witnessed in the past, dominant champions from other organizations rarely fare well in the UFC. Skeptics believed that ‘Iron’ would follow the same path as Ben Askren.
However, Chandler proved all the doubters wrong when he stopped Dan Hooker in the very first round of the fight. He could not have asked for a better UFC debut. And with that win, he has quickly catapulted himself into the title picture at lightweight.
‘Iron’ now finds himself among the very best in one of the most talent-stacked divisions in the UFC. And after a performance like that, there are a plethora of options for Chandler to explore for his next fight.
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Will Michael Chandler fight for the title next?
In the post-fight press conference, Dana White stated that a fight between Chandler and Poirier could be for the title next.
Although Chandler was onboard, Dustin was vehemently against it. He felt that Chandler was just one fight into his UFC career and beat someone who Dustin had just beat. Therefore, he did not think it was fair that Chandler received a title shot right away. ‘The Diamond’ does make a good point.
For ‘Iron’ to get a title shot after just one fight in the UFC would be unfair to the likes of Charles Oliveira. So who does Michael Chandler fight next?
Dustin stated that he would be open to fighting ‘Do Bronx’ for the title. Therefore, the next best option for ‘Iron’ is most definitely Justin Gaethje, as both men have a fantastic wrestling pedigree and bombs for fists.
The fight would be an extremely entertaining matchup stylistically. If Chandler were to beat Justin, he would further cement his place as lightweight elite and his claim for a title fight would be hard to ignore.
But, at this point in time, with just one win under his name, a title shot is not warranted.
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