Michael Chandler is keeping his head held high following UFC 262.
Chandler was just seconds away from becoming the new lightweight champion after hurting Charles Oliveira in the first round of their title fight in the UFC 262 headliner last night.
However, Oliveira survived and would go on to hurt Chandler himself in the second round as he earned the TKO win and became the new lightweight champion.
It wasn’t the fairytale Chandler wanted. However, he did soak up the moments leading up to the fight and certainly felt like he belonged in the UFC.
“I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” Chandler said at the post-fight press conference (via Middle Easy). “I do. I was just enjoying the moment, the fans back. … I just felt like I was in the right moment. A smile was on my face again. I feel like I’m fighting on borrowed time still. There were moments in my career where I’d never thought I’d end up here. I never thought the door would open and now it has. The first one was the highest of highs.
“This one, it’s not the lowest of lows, because Charles Oliveira is world class. Fighting for a UFC title is a world-class opportunity. But as my son knows, every young man falls, but every young man gets back up. The sun will rise tomorrow. When I fly home without the belt, we’ve got some explaining to do but we’re going to figure it out.”
Following the defeat, Chandler told Joe Rogan that he still planned on becoming a UFC champion within the next 12 months. The former Bellator champion feels that way as he feels he can still beat anyone in the top five of the lightweight division.
“Here we are. I’ve been here before after losses,” Chandler added. “This sport moves quickly. I am still world class. Anybody next to get me into line for the title again, I believe I can beat them and then beat anybody in the top five so we’ll see what happens.”
It will be interesting to see what’s next for Chandler but one thing is for sure — he certainly proved he is one of the best 155ers in the world.