Scott Coker Reacts To Michael Chandler Signing With UFC
Bellator President Scott Coker has dished on Michael Chandler making the jump to the UFC.
Chandler signed with the UFC after his deal with Bellator expired. The former three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion will be on standby for the UFC 254 main event. Headlining that card will be a title unification bout between UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim titleholder Justin Gaethje.
Chandler had been with Bellator since September 2010. Many considered him to be a mainstay with the organization but Chandler was never shy in saying that he would go with the best deal for his family. This time, that offer ended up coming from the UFC.
During an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Coker discussed Chandler’s exit and had nothing but praise for the former Bellator titleholder.
“I personally really think he’s an amazing human being and a great family man. He’s got great values and is a real martial artist. He exemplifies everything I love seeing in an athlete and saw when he represented our brand. … It was, ‘OK, we’re going to rebuild this 155-pound division. He has some great opportunities. Let’s let him go.’ At the end of the day, we could have matched it, to be honest. But I just felt like his destiny lies elsewhere.
“He’s a guy I’m always going to support. I’m going to watch all of his fights. And what does it say about the quality of fighters in Bellator when a guy like Michael Chandler leaves and gets put right into the immediate title shot conversation? Right? It shows you how great these fighters are over here.”
During his time with Bellator, Chandler had memorable bouts with the likes of Eddie Alvarez, who also transitioned to the UFC and captured the promotion’s 155-pound title. Many have wondered whether or not Chandler will be able to top elite UFC lightweights. It won’t be long before we get the answer.