Michael Chandler has repeatedly stated that he has always dreamed of becoming a UFC champion one day. He now has an opportunity to bring that to fruition at UFC 262.
Chandler will face Charles Oliveira in the main event of the upcoming PPV card. It goes without saying that winning the UFC Lightweight championship will arguably be the biggest moment of his professional career.
However, in Chandler’s personal life, the joy of becoming a father for the first time stands unparalleled.
Michael Chandler and his wife, Brie Willet, adopted a son back in 2018. They later named him Hap Whitaker. According to Chandler, seeing the picture of his nine-month-old son for the first time had him teary-eyed.
“We wanted a newborn to six months. It’s just funny how you have your preferences and you have your plans and then all of a sudden God just says, nope. He was nine months old. They sent us his picture, and as soon as I saw it I got this feeling inside of me, and I started tearing up. I was just like: ‘That’s my son,” said Chandler in an interview with MMA Fighting
Chandler and Brie had to wait for months to be eligible to adopt a child, thanks to lengthy legal requirements. When the pair finally qualified, it only took six minutes for them to catch a glimpse of the kid who would be their first son.
“We didn’t even get over the reaction of settling into the idea of, holy cow, we’re now active, we’re now allowed to adopt… it was all of a sudden six minutes go by and we get that phone call,” said Chandler.
According to Chandler, the idea of adopting a child has been brewing in his wife’s mind since she was a teenager. Brie worked as a volunteer at ‘Granny’s House’, to look after the young orphaned children.
Why did Michael Chandler and Brie Willet name their kid Hap Whitaker?
Michael Chandler named his son after a legendary wrestling coach at the University of Missouri. His name was Hap Whitney. Whitney was a four-time state champion in Missouri, and also shares a strong relationship with Chandler.
Chandler and Brie later decided to replace Whitney with Whitaker. According to the former Bellator star, Hap’s second name was inspired by one of his friends named Mike Whitaker, whom he met at a restaurant in Nashville.
Hap Whitaker Chandler is now four years old. His parents took to Instagram to share pictures of his fourth birthday.