Michael Chandler saw a familiar face when the doctor stoppage came for the main event of UFC 244. Having had one of his own fights stopped when he wanted to keep going in 2017 cost him a title. While Chandler’s stoppage seemed justified, he could not help but feel the same frustration Nate Diaz likely felt on Saturday night.
In a post on social media, Chandler said, “Never ever fight in New York!” Apparently the doctor that stopped the fight due to the lacerations around the right eye of Diaz was the same one that stopped the fight that cost him his title back in 2017 when Bellator brought their first event to Madison Square Garden.
NEVER EVER EVER FIGHT IN NEW YORK. Same exact doctor looked me in the eye and told me I had a broken leg. I knew I didn’t and knew I could continue. MSG…amazing history and venue…NY…horrible commission. #ufc244
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) November 3, 2019
“Same exact doctor looked me in the eye and told me I had a broken leg,” Chandler continued in his post. It turned out he did not have a broken leg, but a pinched nerve from stepping back to avoid the low kicks from Brent Primus damaged his nerve enough to not be able to put weight down correctly. Chandler and Primus would eventually face each other again at the end of 2018 where he won his title back but his fight in Madison Square Garden is not a fond memory for him.
When the doctor stepped in, as they got Chandler a stool to sit on for observation, someone from the commission pulled the stool out from under him. Despite he and Diaz wanting to fight, the commissions and referees exist to protect the athletes from injury and themselves. Afterward, when speaking with Joe Rogan about the incident, he said movement did not return to his foot until weeks after the event.
Still, Chandler had nice things to say about Madison Square Garden’s iconic history in sports, but would rather not deal with the New York State Athletic Commission again.