Michael Chandler credited Dana White for keeping the UFC ‘bulletproof’ from politics.
The top-ranked lightweight contender is scheduled to settle his differences with former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in the promotion’s grand return to Madison Square Garden in New York. UFC will make its way back to the city after three years of absence due to restrictions from the pandemic.
Amidst all the political pressure the organization faced, company president Dana White ensured to stick to his founding principles without restricting the fighters, unlike some other sports leagues.
Michael Chandler talks about how Dana White made UFC ‘bulletproof’
In an appearance on the PBD podcast with host Patrick Bet-David, Michael Chandler gave his take on how White made sure UFC was not influenced by politics.
“There is no politics. We are independent contractors, we can talk about what we want, support who we want, talk about politics as much as we want. Obviously, you need to, especially with the way today is, you need to watch yourself and what you say. You can’t be over the top with things but we are all independent contractors.
He drew similarities with his fellow fighters, arguing that they were all similar in nature.
A lot of us come from very similar backgrounds. I don’t think most of us ever thought about becoming, now you might have these younger guys but I mean some of these guys in the NFL, they have been dreaming about this since they were 11 years old and they wanted the $16 million contract or the $30 million contract. A lot of us came from a place where it was like, ‘oh I got into fighting but I never really thought about getting on a $30 million contract, that kinda crazy money. We come from similar backgrounds. We are individuals in an individual sport and we are all independent contractors as well.”
Chandler believes White will never force them to support a cause
Bet-David commented that White managed to create a ‘bulletproof organization.’ Chandler responded by sharing the general protocol the athletes under the UFC follow.
“The protocol is just don’t mess up, don’t get canceled. There’s been guys who have said certain things and got in trouble for what they said but they were outta line. Just like if you’re an artist, you can say something and get in trouble. You look at the NFL and then you see the things that are printed on the NFL end zones and you see them wearing things on their helmets and what not. Then theres a certain pressure to follow. If I just wanted to be blank, do I get looked down upon? Dana would never do that, he would never say, ‘hey, I really like this cause so I’m going to make everybody wear this certain thing.”
“What is the political climate? It just becomes so bonkers and it’s the flavor of the week and it continues to change. You’re going to implement something right now that’s going to be different two weeks from now anyway or it will get debunked, proven to be false or whatever.”
With a fan-friendly fighting style, Chandler quickly became the most electrifying athlete in the UFC in just his second year after joining. He will look to get back in the mix of title contention with a win over Poirier next month.