Long-time Bellator fighter Michael Chandler has now officially signed for the UFC.
Dana White confirmed the news on ESPN Sportscenter after having publicly signaled an interest in signing Chandler recently after he became a free agent.
For almost exactly 10 years Chandler has been one of Bellator’s most recognizable stars, making an early impact in the promotion by winning their Season 4 lightweight tournament with victories over the likes of Marcin Held, Patricky Freire and then Eddie Alvarez in the final.
Chandler would successfully defend the title twice on that occasion, and has had two other stints as champion during an 18-5 overall run in the promotion in which he’s consistently proved to be one of the most exciting and talented fighters on the roster.
The icing on the cake is that the now 34-year-old bowed out of Bellator with a big first round KO finish of Ben Henderson, ensuring he has plenty of momentum to carry into his UFC debut.
As for who he will fight first, at the time being that remains uncertain, but for now he has been installed as the back-up fighter for the upcoming Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje title fight that headlines UFC 254 in October, meaning he will step up if either of those two stars is unable to compete.