Chelsea Chandler, an American mixed martial artist, is making her mark in the Bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Early Career and Basketball
Born on January 29, 1994, Chandler has been competing professionally since 2018 and has also previously fought for Invicta Fighting Championships (Invicta FC). As of June 20, 2023, she holds the #15 spot in the UFC women's bantamweight rankings.
Chandler's athletic journey began in high school, where she played basketball and competed in track. After finishing college, she embarked on her martial arts career by training at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand in 2011. Later, she joined Nick Diaz's Academy to further refine her skills.
Fighting in Invicta Fighting Championship
Making her promotional debut at Invicta FC 28: Mizuki vs. Jandiroba on March 24, 2018, Chandler faced Kerri Kenneson. Despite her best efforts, she lost the fight via unanimous decision. However, she bounced back in her next bout, taking on Mitzi Merry at Invicta FC 32: Spencer vs. Sorenson on November 16, 2018. Chandler emerged victorious with a unanimous decision win.
Continuing her journey in Invicta FC, Chandler faced Brittney Victoria Grizzelle at Invicta FC 35: Bennett vs. Rodriguez on June 7, 2019. Displaying her skills, she secured a technical knockout in the second round, further establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with.
Chandler's next challenge came against Olivia Parker at Invicta FC 40: Ducote vs. Lima on July 2, 2020. She showcased her ground game, securing a rear-naked choke submission in the first round, reaffirming her proficiency in grappling.
In her most recent Invicta FC appearance, Chandler faced Courtney King at Invicta FC 47 on May 11, 2022. Chandler delivered an impressive performance, winning the bout via unanimous decision, demonstrating her growth and determination.
Signing with the UFC
The UFC came calling for Chandler, and she was scheduled to make her debut against Leah Letson at UFC Fight Night 211 on October 1, 2022. However, Letson withdrew from the bout due to personal reasons, and Julija Stoliarenko stepped in as a replacement, resulting in a catchweight bout at 140 pounds. Chandler seized the opportunity and showcased her skills, securing a TKO stoppage at the end of the first round. This remarkable victory earned her the well-deserved Performance of the Night award.
As Chelsea Chandler continues to climb the ranks of the UFC bantamweight division, her determination and skill set make her a rising star to watch.