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Michael Chandler: Walk On

by Shamroz Naseer 21 Jun 2023

An Unrelenting Force.

When you fight for a living, you become comfortable with being uncomfortable.  The fight doesn’t start until you take a good punch, and until that point it’s all talk.  There’s nothing subjective in a fight.  You will objectively defeat your opponent, or them, you.  


Either your training is sound, your body is ready for the coming rigors, and your mind is prepared, or… you’re not.  


All the guys you see on TV are gifted.  They can strike, they can grapple, and to an extent, they’re all damn tough.  What separates the professional athletes from the icons, the elite, is their mind.  


 

Michael Chandler is one of those revered mental titans who has taken his gifts, the cards he was dealt, and forged himself into an unrelenting force.  For Michael, challenges are opportunities, and from those trials he cemented his motto; ‘Walk On.’


Whether it be as a fighter, a father and husband, or teacher, Michael’s commitment to prove the doubters wrong, be victorious, and achieve a sound life in all facets, is what gravitated us towards him.  He has built an inspiring life, and we are humbled and honored he is a part of the melin Family.  

  


Foundation of a Fighter.

A midwestern kid, 1 of 3 siblings, and not the tallest or biggest kid in class, ever.  Michael Chandler was born in Missouri and chased perfection from the jump.  Honor Roll for every term in high school, along with being an All-State wrestler, and a standout football player.  


He enrolled at Mizzou (University of Missouri,) and was given a chance to walk on to the wrestling team.  


For those of you who don’t know, a ‘walk-on’ is a sports term used to describe a tryout of sorts.  It’s unique because it’s not the usual couple dozen or hundred individuals vying for a spot, and there won’t be a designated tryout, or entry level workout.  


If you’re a walk-on, you’re getting thrown to the wolves.  This walk-on period can last 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, and if you coast for a second, you may as well pack your things and leave.  


Ever seen Rudy?  Notre Dame football, unathletic guy gets his ass beat while an inspiring Jerry Goldsmith score echoes in the background?  Great flick. We’ll add it to the melin ‘Top 100’ Must Watch List.  


Imagine that, with hard as nails midwestern wrestlers, no luminating soundtrack, no Blue and Gold, and a humid wrestling gym.  A proving ground.  If this walk-on schmuck makes the wrestling team, then someone who previously had a spot, just lost it.    

 


Make no mistake, these boys are gonna fight.  With pride and their wrestling careers on the line, losing is a chapter closing, winning starts a new path, and a dream continues.  


Michael Won.


A LOT. 


He compiled 100 wins over his four-year Mizzou career and was named an All-American.  Not bad for an overlooked and undersized kid from High Ridge, Missouri, who had to fight just to make the team.  


Michael already had the mentality, but his collegiate journey is what coined his motto, ‘Walk On.’  


Chandler’s professional career is equally impressive.  Spanning over a decade, between Strikeforce, Bellator, and UFC, he’s put together a 23-8 record.  Defeating the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Benson Henderson, and Tony Ferguson, Chandler has been both a Champion and faced defeat honorably.  Compiling multiple ‘Fight of the Night’ awards and garnishing a reputation as a guy who gives it his all.  


He's got a fight later this year against a certain Irishman as part of the Ultimate Fighter.  Stay Tuned.  


Iron Michael Chandler is walking proof that a will to win, razor-sharp mentality, and focus to remain dedicated can make the once impossible, achievable.  That if you approach every opportunity as a ‘Walk-On’, with something to prove, anything is possible. 


Family First. 

“No man is an island.”  Couldn’t be truer than with Mike.  His responsibilities as a loving husband and father are the paramount in his life.  This means he makes a daily effort to be there in each and every way. 


Dedication isn’t just about overall records, lifting weights, and physical challenges… Dedication for your family is something entirely different, and in many ways more challenging.  


Michael trades his tenacity for compassion, his fighting for spirit for a more nurturing one.  Approaching his 10-year wedding anniversary to wife, Brie, and raising his two adoptive sons, Hap, and Ace, Michael knows what it takes to win in the ring, but more importantly, lead his family with love, compassion, and selflessness.  


Continuously Challenging. 

Michael’s newest challenge; mentoring a team of up and comers on this season’s “The Ultimate Fighter.”  It’s an opportunity for him to impart his knowledge not only of the technical aspects of the fight game, but the mental aspects, on a couple of guys with a dream and a will to fight.  


The unofficial climax to his training regimen, when Michael squares off against rival coach and fellow UFC veteran, Conor McGregor.  We can’t wait.  


NO matter what you accomplished yesterday, what your record shows, whether you became a household name, there is always another challenge around the corner.  Could be months down the road, could catch you off guard, could seem impossible to overcome.  


Michael’s latest partnership with us, the ‘Walk On’ Collection is a testament to being ready for what life presents and to always attack the challenge with the same vigor you did before the dream became reality.  That eventually, it all boils down to mindset, and if yours is sound, then you will achieve that dream.  Journey may be longer than expected, but nothing worth it ever came easy.  

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