Former Bellator Champion Michael Chandler to enter Free Agency


Bellator may be losing one of their stars soon. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that former lightweight champion Michael Chandler has one fight left on his contract and is considering exploring free agency.

Chandler has been with Bellator for over nine years and is considered one of the best lightweights in the world. As well as being a three-time lightweight champion, Chandler is also known for his rivalry with Eddie Alvarez in Bellator. However, at 33 years old Chandler is ready to move on and see what other promotions like the UFC and One Championship have to offer.

In an interview which was transcribed by ESPN, Chandler said:

“I would love nothing more than to finish my career and retire as a Bellator fighter, and I’ve told that to [Bellator president] Scott Coker, but the simple fact is they have a business to run with checks and balances, and I know my wife and son deserve to be taken care of, and I have a calling in life that might require me to go elsewhere.”

If Chandler does go into free agency, he would be a big acquisition for either the UFC or One Championship. The lightweight division in the UFC is one of the best divisions in MMA and Chandler will make the division even better. Chandler would have the chance to show why he is considered one of the best lightweights in the world against talents like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor. For One Championship, it grows its lightweight division and gives more exposure to the organization.

When speaking on where he might go, Chandler said, “I think I’m a guy who could go to [One Championship] and finish my trilogy with Eddie Alvarez, or imagine me fighting guys like [UFC lightweights] Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier, and putting on Fights of the Year. And I do think I’m the best guy to solve the puzzle of [UFC lightweight champion] Khabib Nurmagomedov.”

Chandler’s last fight on his Bellator contract will be against Benson Henderson at Bellator 244 on June 6 in Chicago, Illinois. He has a win over Henderson by split decision at Bellator 165 on November 19, 2016. Tickets for Bellator 244 are on sale now.



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