There were many electrics results coming out of UFC 257, including Michael Chandler’s TKO victory over No. 6 ranked lightweight Dan Hooker. Saturday night marked Chandler’s promotional debut and it went as well as it could have, finishing “The Hangman” at 2:30 in the opening frame.
With the win, Chandler (22-5) will likely break into the top five of the division and find himself fighting in either a title fight or title eliminator bout next. Defeating Hooker also earned Chandler a “Performance of the Night” bonus from the UFC, which is an extra $50,000 for the fighter.
“It’s pretty damn good,” White said. “I don’t know if I’ve seen one better. Like I said to John [Morgan], you know a lot of people who come in the first time have a rough go in their first fight in the UFC. That kid fought like he’s been here for years. So yeah, I think off the top of my head, I can’t remember a better one.”
Although the UFC president was impressed with Chandler’s debut, he took issue with his post-fight celebration. After Chandler scored the TKO victory, he immediately climbed to the top of the Octagon and did a backflip. Watch the moment below:
White is not a fan of fighters doing backflips off the Octagon, worrying that they could hurt themselves.
“Do you guys hate the backflips as much as I hate the backflips,” White said. “The kid gets his fight in the UFC then does a backflip that looks like it’s gonna blow out both f****** ankles, knees and his spine. I don’t get the backflip thing and I don’t like it. Somebody’s gonna get f****** hurt doing that.”
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Chandler Says He Doesn’t ‘Deserve’ to Call His Shot, Ready to Go Home & See His Family
Chandler has made it clear, he’s on a mission for gold. But right now, he’s ready to fly back home to the United States and see his family.
“I don’t deserve to necessarily be calling any shots right now,” Chandler said to the UFC after his bout with Hooker. “I have one win in the UFC, albeit it was over a top opponent, first-round knockout. You just had Dustin finish Conor, we have Khabib not quite sure if he is coming back… I’m not here to call shots. I’m here to capture that UFC gold.
“We’ll sit back, we’ll talk to Dana, Hunter and Sean, we’ll see kind of what is next. Most importantly I want to get on that dang plane, I want to go see my wife and son. It’s my son’s birthday today; tomorrow is my wife and I’s eight-year anniversary of our first date, so a huge week for me and I’m just feeling full of gratitude, I’m just excited about what’s next.”
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Chandler Fulfilled a Dream 12 Years in the Making
Chandler fought in Bellator for a decade until he switched over to the UFC last year. However, he always dreamt of one day fighting inside the world-famous Octagon against the best competition in the world.
“I spent 12 years outside of this company thinking about this possibility, thinking about these match-ups, thinking about fighting the best guys in the world,” Chandler said. “Now I’m here. I’m going to be ranked inside the top five now, that might knock Conor [McGregor] out of No. 4, maybe put me on No. 3 or 4… I have no idea where the rankings are going to go, doesn’t really matter.
“Anybody can get a title shot as long as they are in the top five, top 10 actually, so… just feeling great. Pure elation, tons of hard work ever since I was 14 years old, wrestling in Missouri all the way to becoming All-american, fighting outside the UFC and now winning my first fight in the UFC, getting a spectacular knockout… Just trying to be remarkable.”