UFC's Michael Chandler 'Emotional' Over Support From Woodley, Askren, 'They Built Me Up'
UFC's Michael ChandlerEmotional Over Askren, Woodley Support... 'They Built Me Up'
5/15/2021 12:10 AM PT
This is an incredible video!!!
UFC star Michael Chandler is fighting in the biggest bout of his life at UFC 262 on Saturday night ... and TMZ Sports spoke to his ex-college teammates for some last-minute encouragement before competing for the lightweight title!!!
The superstar Missouri Tigers wrestling alums shared some final thoughts with us before their friend takes the Octagon against Charles Oliveira in Houston.
"I think his first performance with the UFC was outstanding, Askren tells us. "Hey man, he's not a newbie. I think he's been in the game just as long as we have so go out there, fight hard, have fun and enjoy your moment."
Woodley -- who considers himself a "big brother" to Chandler also had some kind words for the guy .... saying, "He's always talked about wanting to be the best, the best in the world, wants to be best and have the glory and have the fame and have all these things."
"I know he's got that Tiger style. I'm sending love out to him, peace and prayers and he represents us when he goes out there. Not just to wrestle, not just the OG fighters but just that pedigree of people that did it the right way and worked hard."
And, if you checked out the video ... you can tell just how much the soundbites meant to Chandler.
"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," Chandler tells us.
"I think about walking on to the University of Missouri. I was the lowest guy on the totem pole. I was the guy that didn't really truly believe that ridiculous success was something that I can achieve."
"I worked hard, you can ask Tyron -- Tyron was a 5th-year senior, Ben was a 3rd or 4th 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."
He continued ... "Like, they were the guys that I wanted to emulate. They immediately became my big brothers, they immediately instilled in me most of the time to know 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,"
Of course, Michael DID achieve all those goals ... becoming an All-American wrestler at the Division I level ... and getting a bid to the NCAA Championships 3 out of 4 seasons as a starter.
Chandler says no matter what happens Saturday night, it just goes to show how the Mizzou fam is a strong bond.
"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 a 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."
There's more ... we also talked to Askren and Woodley about Chandler as a young man in the Mizzou wrestling organization ... and you're gonna wanna check it out.