Michael Chandler
Iron

USA

Drops Bellator title in controversial fashion
LightweightBellator
May 12, 2019
Chandler lost his lightweight championship belt after going down to Patricio Freire via TKO (punches) at 1:01 of Round 1 at Bellator 221 on Saturday in Rosemont, Illinois.
ANALYSIS
Chandler was dropped by a right hand early that landed just behind his ear, and looked to be in serious trouble due to Pitbull's ground striking. There was no lack of controversy in this stoppage, however. Freire landed a sequence of ground-and-pound to the left side of Chandler's head, but the moment referee Rob Madrigal stepped in to stop the fight, Chandler bounced right back up. We'll never know how hurt Chandler really was, but to nobody's surprise, he immediately protested the stoppage. While the 33-year-old will relinquish his 155-pound strap for now, one would think he'll be coming back for what's his in the near future.
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Reclaims throne
LightweightBellator
December 15, 2018
Chandler defeated Brent Primus via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) at Bellator 212 on Friday in Honolulu.
ANALYSIS
It might have been a lot harder than he expected, but Chandler secured his revenge against Brent Primus and regained the Bellator lightweight title. Primus had a lot of success with his striking early in this fight. Chandler's only answer for kicks was an overhand right punch. When it landed, he had success, but Primus made him pay with kicks early and often. Towards the end of the fight, Chandler went to his wrestling and controlled the last three rounds of the fight. Chandler is clearly one of the best lightweights in the world, and Bellator will need to continue to find and build challengers for him.
Big favorite Saturday
LightweightBellator
December 11, 2018
Chandler is a (-515) favorite for Saturday's Belllator Lightweight Title Fight against Brent Primus.
ANALYSIS
While Chandler couldn't quite seem to figure out Will Brooks back in 2014, he was able to earn the title belt following Brooks' departure to the UFC. Chandler then put together a streak of four consecutive victories, including wins over big names such as Patricky Freire and Benson Henderson. Then, in a June 2017 title defense over the undefeated Primus, he suffered a fluke lower-leg injury that left him barely able to stand in the cage, let along defend himself. Primus was crowned the 155-pound champion by default, but has been unable to defend his title since then due to a knee injury. Chandler has fought and defeated both Goiti Yamauchi and Brandon Girtz since that fateful loss, leaving him with plenty of momentum and motivation heading into this title opportunity. Chandler is fresh off a new deal with the promotion, and the 32-year-old intends to begin a long reign as champion Saturday night.
To remain with Bellator MMA
LightweightBellator
August 22, 2018
Chandler has agreed to a multi-fight contract that will keep the lightweight fighter under the banner of Bellator MMA, Brett Okamoto of ESPNreports.
ANALYSIS
Chandler has been fighting with Bellator for the great majority of this career after making his promotional debut back in May of 2010. He's a perennial title contender and one of the faces of the promotion. Despite surrendering his belt to Brent Primus after a fight that Chandler lost due to a fluke injury, it won't be long before he's fighting again for the 155-pound strap. Chandler is currently on a two-fight winning streak, and if Primus (knee) isn't ready to return soon, he appears perfectly content to continue putting away other top contenders.
Makes case for title rematch with first-round submission at Bellator 197
LightweightBellator
April 13, 2018
Chandler defeated Brandon Girtz via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:00 of Round 1 at Bellator 197 on Friday in St. Charles, Mo.
ANALYSIS
Chandler had been scheduled to rematch Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus for the title. However, Primus pulled out of the bout with an injury and Chandler ended up facing Brandon Girtz. At the start of the fight, Chandler looked a bit rusty and struggled with Girtz's odd striking style. Towards the end of the round, Chandler scored a takedown and ended up on top. After abandoning a top-side crucifix, he jumped to the other side and locked in an arm-triangle choke. Chandler's next fight should be a rematch for the title.
New opponent for Bellator 197
LightweightBellator
March 21, 2018
Chandler will now face Brandon Girtz in the main event of Bellator 197 on April 13, as Brent Primus has withdraw due to a knee injury, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Chandler caught a tough break when he lost his lightweight title to Primus last June, as he suffered a fluky ankle injury that resulted in a doctor stoppage. Though it put him in incredible pain at the time, the injury did not carry any long-term consequences, and Chandler was back in the cage against Goiti Yamauchi the following January. After picking up the unanimous-decision victory, he was then booked for a Primus rematch, but that bout will now be put on hold indefinitely. Still wanting a fight and a payday, Chandler accepted a matchup against Girtz where he will be a heavy favorite. He has little to gain and a lot to lose.