Michael Chandler is down however not out following a loss in his first try at turning into UFC champion.
Only one battle into his profession with the promotion, the previous Bellator mainstay was granted a shot on the vacant light-weight title after Khabib Nurmagomedov introduced his retirement final 12 months. Chandler made the many of the alternative with a quick begin in his battle in opposition to Charles Oliveira on Saturday as he blasted the Brazilian with a left hand early that led to him practically incomes a first-round end with a guillotine choke.
Later in the identical spherical, Chandler buzzed Oliveira with one other highly effective punch that put the Brazilian down on the canvas and he adopted up with a flurry of photographs in an try to finish the battle. Oliveira discovered a technique to survive to the ultimate horn after which simply 19 seconds into the subsequent spherical, he staged a dramatic comeback by blasting Chandler with a superbly positioned left hook that led to the stoppage.
“First off, hats off to Charles,” Chandler mentioned in regards to the battle when talking on the UFC 262 post-fight press convention. “Hats off to Charles for surviving that first spherical, surviving that barrage. Secondly, an enormous thanks to the UFC for this chance. I simply noticed Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] and people guys again there, I actually really feel like I’m residing a dream. Win, lose or draw.
“However right here we’re. Obtained a busted-up eye and one other loss on my document. However I’ve come again from worse. Felt like every part was clicking in there, simply bought caught. Zigged once I ought to have zagged. Right here we’re speaking to you with out the belt on this desk however we’re going to maintain shifting ahead.”
Whereas Chandler virtually put Oliveira away on two separate events within the first spherical, he did need to battle by means of a harrowing second of his personal when he allowed the fighter with probably the most submissions in UFC historical past to take his again.
Chandler finally exploded out of the place to flee Oliveira’s grappling assault, which confirmed that he had no concern going to the bottom with such an skilled Brazilian jiu-jitsu knowledgeable.
“I cherished it. I cherished to have the ability to present that I might keep composed in opposition to the perfect grappler on the planet,” Chandler mentioned. “I considerably form of let him take my again, I wish to let guys take my again, get that one-on-one, I spun round and bought into his guard similar to I at all times do in a variety of positions. A kind of offers the place I didn’t really feel I used to be in peril in any respect however that was form of dumb since you’re at all times in peril if Charles Oliveira has your again however I really feel snug in that situation.
“Ought to I’ve let it get there? Most likely not. However it’s a part of it and fought by means of it, we wrestled by means of it, we anti jiu-jitsu’d by means of it. Seems I misplaced on the ft and never on the bottom.”
After practically ending the battle within the first spherical, Chandler was fast to interact in an change with Oliveira initially of the second, which is what in the end led to his downfall.
Regardless of the end result, Chandler has no regrets concerning his sport plan as a result of he did precisely what he was imagined to do however Oliveira simply bought the higher of him.
“You possibly can by no means get too aggressive. Aggressive is my model. Aggressive is me. Aggressive is who I’m,” Chandler mentioned. “It’s the battle sport. It’s four-ounce gloves and also you zig when you need to have zagged and earlier than you realize it, Charles Oliveira’s getting the belt wrapped round his waist as an alternative of yours. Right here we’re.
“I’ve been right here earlier than after losses. The game strikes rapidly. I’m nonetheless world class. Anyone subsequent to get me in line for the title once more, I imagine I can beat them and beat anyone within the top-five.”
One criticism that Chandler had concerning Oliveira earlier than they clashed at UFC 262 was his previous tendency to battle within the face of adversity. All through a lot of his UFC profession, Oliveira was generally known as an amazing frontrunner, who might pour on the punishment when he was main the cost however he struggled when issues didn’t appear to go his approach.
Oliveira dispelled that repute on Saturday night time as he survived an early onslaught within the first spherical to then storm again and end Chandler within the second.
“He confirmed that he had the gall to get by means of that,” Chandler mentioned about Oliveira. “He bought dropped, bought harm. I used to be on high of him. He’s actually lengthy and he did a very good job of tying me up so I couldn’t rain down too onerous of punches or elbows. He undoubtedly bought by means of some adversity tonight.
“He confirmed tonight that he’s more durable than a variety of us thought he was. Hats off to him. He’s our champion now at 155 and I’m coming for that belt once more.”
Whereas the outcome didn’t go his approach, Chandler is way from completed chasing the title and he gained’t wait too lengthy to start out placing within the work to start that climb again up the ladder.
His first dedication for now’s spending time together with his spouse and son at dwelling however the former Bellator champion totally intends on difficult for UFC gold once more at some point quickly.
“I’ll be again within the health club this week,” Chandler mentioned. “I’m not going to be sparring and doing all that stuff however I’ll be again within the health club this week. I’ll be placing in some miles this week. I by no means take a relaxation. We’ll see what occurs subsequent. We’re going again to the drafting board.
“I will probably be champion. I will probably be UFC champion by the point my profession is up. I bought a style of it tonight. Fell brief. However as I mentioned, each younger man falls however each younger man will get again up.”
So far as answering his critics, Chandler didn’t appear to pay a lot consideration to those that mentioned he bought the UFC title shot too early in his profession with the promotion or that he by some means didn’t earn it by solely having one win below his belt contained in the octagon.
A fast take a look at his general resume ought to have answered these questions however Chandler was pleased with what he did within the first spherical in opposition to Oliveira to show he belonged in there with the perfect that the UFC might throw at him.
“I used to be at dwelling in there,” Chandler mentioned. “If you happen to don’t suppose I’m world class, that’s high-quality, do your factor. I believe the individuals who perceive the game, the individuals who’ve seen my resume, who’ve seen my physique of labor, who’ve seen what I’ve executed within the sport, the issues that I’ve come by means of similar to each man has on this sport, then you realize I’m world class. You already know I can dangle with these guys.”