Chandler is one of the best lightweights in the world, with his three-time Bellator lightweight straps to show for it. The 34-year-old recently signed a lucrative deal for him to join the UFC. Chandler might not have to wait long before he gets his shot at UFC gold, as he has been selected as the official back-up fighter for the title-unification bout at UFC 254 in October between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
If Khabib and Gaethje make the walk to the Octagon on Fight Island in October, Felder has already told UFC President Dana White that he wants a shot at Chandler. Felder last fought in the UFC Octagon back in February on a UFC Fight Night against Dan Hooker. Felder, however, succumbed to a controversial loss via decision to Dan Hooker on the night. Nevertheless, Felder told the media at Fight Island who he would return for.
“There are only a few names I’d even be interested in coming back to fighting. It’s the top guys: Hooker, Ferguson, obviously Michael Chandler is going to come here to ‘Fight Island’ to be a backup. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen, right? I think we can all agree we don’t want that to happen. It’s good that it’s in place. God forbid something goes down. But that’s a fight I’d like to come back for in December or early next year,” Felder said (via MMAjunkie.com).
“I would’ve at least asked when the date was and talked to the team and figured out a training camp potentially,” Felder said. “I’ve made it known that’s a fight I’d be interested in. I even texted Dana White when he first was talking to Chandler, saying, ‘Hey, if you need somebody to introduce him to the big show then I’d be interested.’ I have no disrespect toward Chandler. I think he’s a great athlete.”
Felder’s UFC color commentator role fills his schedule on the regular. It seems only a big fight would be enough to tempt him out of retirement. Felder holds the No. 7 spot in one of the organisations most stacked divisions.
Does Paul Felder vs Michael Chandler interest you?