Michael Chandler names the fighter who inspired his MMA career

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Michael Chandler is one of the most exciting fighters in the cfu roster, and he owes his MMA debut to a former UFC champion.

After spending much of his career fighting under the Bellator title, winning the promotion’s lightweight title numerous times and being considered one of the best non-UFC fighters, Chandler would sign with the promotion in 2020. Since beginning his tenure with the promotion, he has been in non-stop action battles, in competition for the Title and having all out wars in each of the four fights he has had so far.

via Instagram @mikechhandlermma

Tyron Woodley inspired Michael Chandler

You’ll be hard-pressed to find people who disagree that having Michael Chandler in the sport of MMA was a good thing. However, according to the man himself, he might not even have ventured down this path in life, were it not for former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Speaking on the PBD Podcast, Chandler explained how he and Woodley wrestled together at Mizzou University, alongside fellow UFC alumni Ben Askren. Additionally, Chandler explained that seeing the way Woodley approached his MMA career, taking several amateur fights to hone his skills, inspired him to take the idea of ​​a career in MMA more seriously.

“Tyron paved the way for us because me and Ben [Askren] got out of college, graduated in May 2009, fought my first pro fight in August 2009 with almost 0 practice, but Tyron had a slower road. He had about seven amateur fights because he just didn’t have the connections because life ain’t what you know; that’s who you know, right? Chandler said.

“Tyron is trying to get into mixed martial arts but has no idea how to do it. Finally he meets these guys at American Top Team, he’s able to get professional fights, then he starts his career professional, obviously. So Tyron is the one who started throwing hands and hitting mitts and that kind of stuff, and I started watching him, and I was like, ‘Man, that would be cool.’

While the relationship between Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren has been good documented, the kind of impact the former champ had on Michael Chandler wasn’t as well-known. It’s interesting to think about how different their MMA journeys have been since those days in Mizzou.

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