Michael Chandler makes title promise after UFC 262 defeat: ‘The best is still yet to come’
Michael Chandler’s first tilt at the UFC lightweight title ended in defeat at UFC 262 when he was defeated by Brazil’s Charles Oliveira in Houston, Texas. But the always-positive American is taking the defeat like a champ, and has promised his fans that he’ll bounce back and complete his quest before he hangs up his four-ounce gloves.
Chandler had a strong opening round against Oliveira in a fight that saw the momentum swing back and forth in a crazy opening five minutes.
After smartly staying out of trouble on the mat as Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Oliveira attempted to create an opening for a submission, Chandler fought back to his feet and appeared to have the Brazilian in big trouble in the closing moments of the round.
However, Chandler wasn’t able to score the finish before the buzzer as both men went back to their respective corners.
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Then, at the start of the second round, Oliveira stunned Chandler by dropping him with a left hook, then swarmed the still-dazed American, dropping him for a second time before finishing him on the canvas with strikes to claim a second-round TKO finish and the vacant undisputed UFC lightweight title.
After his defeat, Chandler was magnanimous in defeat as he paid tribute to his opponent.
“I think we saw one of the toughest dudes on the planet come back from some adversity. Charles Oliveira is the real deal,” he told Joe Rogan immediately after his defeat.
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“I take nothing away from him. I will be back.
“I promise you I’m going to win that UFC strap within the next 12 months. This was a great opportunity. I thank the UFC for this opportunity.
“Charles Oliveira showed how he’s a consummate professional. He’s showed up for the last 10, 11 years here inside the UFC octagon.
“We’ll get this one back. We’re gonna run this one back, eventually.”
And, after hitting the gym for a workout in the aftermath of his defeat, Chandler jumped on Instagram to share an update from his car as he thanked his fans for the support and vowed to complete his mission of becoming the UFC lightweight champion of the world.
“Hitting the ground running after a tough weekend, a tough loss, falling short, a great opportunity that we missed the mark, and that’s just the way life is,” he began.
“Sometimes life’s going to deal you those kinds of things.
“Sometimes you’re going to encounter scars, bruises – but the scars and the bruises remind them that you’re still here, you’ve still got a smile on your face, and you’re still moving forward with complete disregard to previous failures and future opposition.”
“I just want to thank you guys for being on this journey with me.
“You have no idea what your support, the outpouring of love, has done to my heart. It’s just absolutely amazing.
“Thank you guys so much for being on this journey with me. I’m surrounded by such a great, ridiculous, support system and I love you guys so much for being a part of that.
“We don’t follow people because of the virtual certainty of success that they will have. We don’t follow them into battle because we know they are going to win.
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“We follow them into battle because of what they have done on their way to the battlefield.
“And then, if they do encounter a setback, if they do suffer a loss, if they do get publicly beaten and the masses see it, we follow them because of the way that they pull themselves back up.
“We follow them because of the way they trod forward, continue to move forward, continue to hitch their dreams to that shooting star. “And that’s where I’m at right now.
“So, I just love you guys, thank you or being on this journey with me. The best is still yet to come, as I said.
“I will wear that UFC strap before this career is over. It’s just a bump in the road.
“The road back to the title starts today. It already started today – I was already in the gym this morning, just like I promised you I would be when I promised you on Saturday night.
“So I love you guys. As always, I’ll see you at the top.”
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