Michael Chandler hit back at his critics who accuse him of being on performance enhancing drugs.
The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion is the latest addition to the UFC and will serve as the official backup for the UFC 254 lightweight title unification clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
It’s been a long time coming for Chandler who has repeatedly spoken in the past of joining the UFC only to keep re-signing with Bellator, which notably has no strict testing procedures for its fighters.
That led many observers to believe he would never join the Las Vegas-based promotion, with some critics citing the reason being the UFC’s implementation of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) which drug tests fighters extensively. It’s not only fans either but some fighters as well.
However, Chandler has long praised the addition of USADA and now that he’s finally with the UFC, is excited to prove the naysayers wrong about him not being a clean athlete.
“Here I am now taking a fight, October 24 possibly, which is 11 weeks removed from my previous fight [against Benson Henderson],” Chandler told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “So it wasn’t like I’m coming into the UFC and saying, ‘hey guys, I need a year. Give me a year before I step into the cage.’ No, test me now. Test me ASAP. So I don’t need time. I’m excited about that. To lay that to rest, I’m excited to be a year clean, two years, three years, four years — you’re not going to hear me say anything about it.
“I’m just going to quietly, silently continue to do my hard work, supplement correctly, live a champion lifestyle and expand people’s minds about what the human body is capable of. I realized long ago I was put into this sport to expand people’s view of the human condition, the human spirit, what the human body is capable of.
“Now you got to remember, this is Joe Schmo who is a car mechanic telling me I’m on PEDs because he lifts two days a week at 24 Hour Fitness. Well, listen Joe. I’ve been doing this for two decades now, training twice a day, 360 days a year, having access to world class healthcare, opportunities, science because my body has been my vehicle, my vessel in which I feed my family. So if I look a certain way, it’s because of hard work. The great thing is I get to prove that now. I am very, very happy that the UFC implemented USADA and as soon as they did, I’ve been chomping at the bit and I said I can’t wait to get into that testing pool and here we are.”
Chandler certainly wants to prove a point, especially as he doesn’t need to remain in the USADA testing pool for six months before having to make his debut.
You can watch the full interview below: