New UFC Lightweight contender Michael Chandler has had a difficult time finding an opponent for his highly anticipated octagon debut.
In the co-main event of UFC 257 next weekend, Chandler will finally make his first walk to the UFC Octagon against a fellow top contender #6 Dan Hooker.
“Obviously I wanted to fight, two, three, four, or five before I fought number six,” Chandler said to TSN. “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.”
According to Chandler, he was offered every fighter in the top-five and they all ended up turning him down.
“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,” Chandler explained. “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 dark horse. I realize nobody wanted to really be the first guy who stepped into that Octagon with me, I completely get it.
“Dan Hooker was the guy who said yes and every other one of them said no for their own personal reasons,” Chandler said. “The good thing is I have a fight lined up, we have a contract signed. The biggest card of the year, the co-main event of UFC 257 isn’t a bad way to introduce yourself to the UFC fans.” (Transcribed by BJPENN.com)
This will certainly be one of the most highly anticipated UFC debuts in some time. Can Michael Chandler show he belongs or will he have a hard time against a very dangerous opponent in Dan Hooker. These questions will be answered at UFC 257.
How do you see Michael Chandler vs Dan Hooker playing out at UFC 257?