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“Those guys made me believe in myself when I didn’t” – Michael Chandler on owing a lot of his success to Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren




Michael Chandler recently stated that Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren played a crucial role in his professional development. The senior classics helped ‘Iron’ reach his full potential and become a world-class athlete. Chandler developed a close relationship with former champions during his collegiate wrestling days at the University of Missouri.

While talking to the UFC transmission team during UFC 262: Live Weigh-in Show, Michael Chandler revealed that Tyron Woodley was the first among three to switch to MMA. He then helped Chandler and Askren take their first steps in the sport, and even Michael Chandler got his first few MMA fights.

“Tyron Woodley led me first, Ben and Tyron getting into mixed martial arts. Tyron started going down to the ATT (American Top Team), training with you, Yves Edwards and those downstairs,” Michael Chandler.

“So he kind of laid the groundwork, he achieved my first three fights. So I owe my success, my beginnings somehow to those two. And also, those guys made me believe in myself when I wasn’t,” Michael Chandler added.

Michael Chandler added that Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren were the only two people on the University of Missouri wrestling team who believed in his potential. The two took it upon themselves to help Chandler improve and develop as a professional athlete.

Michael Chandler has surpassed his mentors in MMA sports

A veteran of 27 professional MMA fights, Michael Chandler (22-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has twice held Bellator’s lightweight title. Chandler announced to UFC fans a first-round knockout victory over Dan Hooker at UFC 257.

He will now fight in 3rd place Charles Oliveira (30-8-1NC MMA, 17-8-1NC UFC) for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 262 on Saturday.

Tyron Woodley (19-7-1D MMA, 10-6-1D UFC) and Ben Askren (19-2-NC MMA, 1-2 UFC) achieved the highest level of success in their heyday. However, their best sports days are far behind them.

Woodley became one of the most dominant light heavyweight champions in UFC history and defended the title four times in a row before losing it to the current champion Kamaru Usman. He was released from the UFC after losing in the first round to Vicente Luque at UFC 260.

Askren held the 170kg title at Bellator and ONE FC and set a 18-0 record. However, striking shortcomings seriously hurt Askren’s chances in his brief UFC later in his career.

The former Bellator champion has announced his retirement after suffering occasional losses from Jorge Masvidal and Demian Mai in the UFC. He last competed in a celebrity boxing match against YouTube professional boxer Jake Paul in April and lost the fight by knockout in the first round.