“They made me believe in myself”


An emotional Michael Chandler reacted to Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren’s words of encouragement.

Speaking to TMZ Sports, Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren offered words of encouragement to their former teammate Michael Chandler. During their days as amateur wrestlers and later as MMA fighters as well, Michael Chandler trained with Woodley and Askren.

Michael Chandler, who currently trains at Sanford MMA, responded to the kind words directed towards him by Woodley and Askren. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Michael Chandler stated:

“Man, it’s pretty emotional because when I think about Tyron and I think about Ben and I just think about being a ‘Mizzou Tiger’, I think about where I came from. I think about walking on to the University of Missouri. You know, I was the lowest guy on the totem pole. I was a guy who didn’t really, truly believe that ridiculous success was something that I could achieve.”

“You know, I worked hard. You can ask, you know Tyron. Tyron was a fifth-year senior. Ben was a third or fourth year, third-year when I came in. They already had the accolades. They already had the mindset. They had the achievements. And I looked to those guys like they were Gods, you know, like they were the guys that I wanted to emulate. They immediately became like my big brothers. They immediately instilled in me, most of the time to no avail, that, ‘Michael, you can be an All-American. You can be a national champion’.”

“And I just think back to the little guy from the little town that was taught to do little things that I was. And because of guys like Tyron, because of guys like Ben, they built me up and pulled me up with them. They made me believe in myself. And now as we are on the cusp of what is the greatest athletic accomplishment of my life, it just, I’m so thankful that God has had me in the palm of his hand throughout it all – Because win, lose, or draw on Saturday night, I’m fighting for the world title in the UFC, trying to become the number-one guy in the world. Man, if I can do it, anybody can do it.”

Michael Chandler notably emphasized that if he can do it, anyone can do it – encouraging the people who are listening to him to believe in themselves.

Michael Chandler also spoke about overcoming setbacks and feeling blessed

Charles Oliveira (left); Michael Chandler (right)
Charles Oliveira (left); Michael Chandler (right)

Michael Chandler pointed out that he’s faced many setbacks over the years but kept working regardless. Chandler also spoke about feeling blessed. ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler said:

“And I’ve had a lot of setbacks, but because of big brothers and influencers and mentors and great people in my life, I’ve gotten to this point – Because that’s why I say, ‘See you at the top’, you know. It’s not about me getting to the top. It’s about Tyron Woodley who wanted to see me at the top with him. It’s about Ben Askren who wanted to see me at the top with him – Two of the greatest to ever grace Mizzou Wrestling, two of the greatest to ever compete in mixed martial arts. And they wanted to bring other people up with them.”

“So, they are who I model myself after. They are the reason I got into this sport. I wanted to be like Tyron. I wanted to be like big brother. I wanted to be like Ben. I wanted to be like these guys. And I was young. And I still feel young. But now, if I can do what they did for me to my young teammates, to my guys at Sanford MMA, to any young guys out there, man, it’s just amazing. And the way wrestling and martial arts brings people together is just; it’s such a blessing. And I just feel like I’m on the ride of my life. And I’m in the most blessed position I ever could’ve achieved in my wildest dreams.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Michael Chandler is set to fight Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title in the main event of UFC 262 (May 15th, 2021).

Published 16 May 2021, 04:33 IST






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