Chandler brings a perfect record to this tournament (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Undefeated Lightweight Has Stopped All Five of His Opponents
Bellator Fighting Championships confirmed the third participant of its upcoming lightweight tournament, with unbeaten prospect Michael Chandler (5-0) joining the competition. The young Mixed Martial Artist has quickly risen up the ranks of his weight division, recording stoppage wins in all five of his professional fights.
“Mike was very impressive at Bellator 31 and 32, finishing both opponents in the first round,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney remarked. “He’s got extreme strength and power for a lightweight, and I’m excited to see how far he can go in this tournament live on MTV(2).”
Currently fighting out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Chandler wrestled in college alongside Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren and undefeated Strikeforce welterweight Tyron Woodley at the University of Missouri. Among the fighters with whom he now trains include Bellator welterweight Jay Hieron and UFC lightweight Gray Maynard.
A two-year captain of his college wrestling team, Chandler says that he has been very focused on diversifying his overall MMA gave since turning to the sport.
“I never want to be known as the typical ‘lay and pray’ wrestler,” he said. “I want to break away from the traditional wrestling mold that a lot of guys have. People say that all wrestlers just want to take their opponents down and lay on them for three rounds, but I want to go out there and finish them. I don't want to just go out there and win, I want to go out there and dominate.”
Chandler signed with Bellator in 2010 and easily stopped Scott Stapp and Chris Page in his first two matches with the promotion. While he may have been just getting his feet wet, Chandler states he always had a much bigger goal in mind since inking that deal.
“I've had my eyes set on capturing that Bellator World Lightweight Championship since the moment I signed with Bellator,” he commented. “It's not to take away from anybody or that I just think I'm going to smash all of these guys on my way to (Eddie) Alvarez, it's just that I'm really excited about the journey I'm about to go through. I'm excited about the next three months of training, and I'm excited about being able to go out there and dominate fight after fight. This is the opportunity of a lifetime in a young fighter's career.”
Chandler now joins Carey Vanier and Rob McCullough as the confirmed participants in the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament, which will take place over the 12-week season from March until May. Bellator will have live broadcasts of the entire competition, kicking off a three-year deal that the promotion signed with MTV2 in 2010.