Over the weekend, in the main event of the finish-filled Bellator 221 card, Michael Chandler attempted to defend the lightweight strap against featherweight champ and arch rival Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Unfortunately for Chandler, who is one of Bellator’s most visible stars, this fight went quite disastrously.
Moments into the first round, he was stung by a Pitbull punch, and seconds later, the fight was being waved off by the referee. Yet Chandler has been adamant that he wasn’t in any real trouble, and that he deserved more time to recover.
Speaking to MMA Junkie post-fight, Michael Chandler opened up on his desire for a rematch with Pitbull. The former lightweight champion understands that opinions are going to vary on the stoppage, but believes the majority of fans will side with him on the issue. As such, he believes he’ll find himself back in the cage with the new two-division champ Pitbull sometime in the near future.
“I’m the fighter,” Michael Chandler told MMA Junkie after the loss. “The promoters will promote. I think you’re going to see an overwhelming majority of people that are going to want to see a rematch. I think Bellator’s probably going to want to see a rematch. Of course, I want the rematch.
“Whether you’re in the camp that thinks it was an early stoppage or not, I’m not going to sit up here and rant and rave about all of that. You could’ve had 10,000 different refs in there and had it go 10,000 different ways or on the other side. … Patricio ‘Pitbull’ will step back in the cage with me, it’s just a matter of when.”
“Did I get hit? Yeah. Was I out? Absolutely not,” Chandler concluded.
Do you think Michael Chandler should get an immediate shot at redemption against Patricio Freire?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/12/2019.