Michael Chandler is all set to make his hugely-awaited debut against Dan Hooker on Saturday with the co-main event of UFC 257. All the spotlight will be on the former Bellator champion who joined UFC after claiming that he was without a doubt the ‘best lightweight in the world’. The 34-year-old has a MMA win-loss record of 21-5 and will want to make a statement by making it 22-5 come Saturday.
Ever since Chandler made his move to UFC, comparisons have been rife between him and Ben Askren for their similar mindsets. The now 36-year-old Askren came into UFC in 2018 with claims that he was the ‘best welterweight in the world’ but wasn’t able to do justice to those claims. After continued struggle and defeats, he went on to announce his retirement. He is now scheduled to face YouTuber Jake Paul in a boxing bout in March.
‘I’m well aware of Ben’s fights in the UFC’ – Chandler
Michael Chandler addressed the media recently and spoke about the comparisons with Ben Askren and how he would turn out to be different. “Listen, I’m well-aware of Ben’s fights in the UFC, his stint in the UFC. I’m well-aware he seemed to be more bark than he was bite in his UFC career, I guess, going 1-2. But I can guarantee right now Ben Askren lays his head on his pillow at night and sleeps like a baby knowing that he came to the UFC, he put his best foot forward, he came up short a couple of times,” he said.
Speaking further about the relationship he shares with Askren, Chandler said, “It remains to be seen what the Michael Chandler story will be. I believe it’s going to be a lot different than Ben’s. That doesn’t make me any better or any worse than him. He’s a dear friend of mine, like a big brother to me. So we will see how the story is told. There’s a lot of people comparing me to Ben Askren, which, there’s the Mizzou connection, the friendship that we have. We shall see.”
All eyes will now be on Chandler and how he fares in his debut against Dan Hooker on Saturday.