According to a recent report from Combate, Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson’s proposed rematch is set to go down on August 7.
The two veterans last fought back at Bellator 165 in November 2016, and on that night, Chandler beat Henderson via split decision to retain the Bellator Lightweight Championship. They were first scheduled to run it back in December 2019 for Bellator’s co-promotion event with Rizin in Japan, but an injury for Henderson ensured that didn’t happen.
They were then supposed to square off at Bellator 244 at the start of June, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans were also shelved.
Now, a date of August 7 has been set as fans wait to see whether or not Henderson is capable of adding to his current four-fight win streak.
Chandler has won eight of his last 10 fights, with the expectation being that he will enter free agency after the Henderson clash — which will be the last fight on his current contract.
“We have had some talks, but it looks like I’m going to be a free agent after this fight,” 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.”
“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,” Chandler added. “And I do think I’m the best guy to solve the puzzle of (UFC lightweight champion) Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
Regardless of whether or not Michael Chandler goes to UFC or ONE Championship, there’s no denying the fact that this fight against Benson Henderson could make or break the negotiations he may have with either promotion.
At the age of 34, he’ll want to get as much out of the next few years as he can.