Two-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is on a mission to get his title back. And he is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal.
Chandler, 32, is one of the best 155-pound fighters in the world. He is arguably Bellator MMA’s best athlete and has been the promotions go-to guy for the last few years. And boy does he want his lightweight title back.
Brent Primus defeated Chandler last year at Bellator NYC to capture the lightweight strap. Albeit under some very strange circumstances. Chandler suffered a freakish leg injury that resulted in a TKO victory for Primus.
18 Months later and the new champion Primus is still yet to defend his title. According to Chandler, that’s the new champion’s way of avoiding him.
“Let’s call a spade a spade, this is a world-class mixed martial artist going out there and fighting a guy who can’t even hold his opponent’s jockstrap,” Chandler said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Luke Thomas. “That’s what this is.”
After lobbying for his rematch for quite some time Chandler will finally get another crack at Primus at Bellator 212 at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii on Dec. 14.
“Most of the time, you have that kind of scenario happen, an injury, a win by the result of an injury, most of the time you have an immediate rematch, right?” Chandler said. “And we begged for a fight. I begged for the fight, and we just couldn’t make it happen. I fought the highest-touted prospect in the lightweight division in Goiti Yamauchi and beat him within an inch of his life and then went out and finished Brandon Girtz, all the while begging to get his fight back.”
Heading into this rematch, Chandler is promising a side of him that has never been seen inside the Bellator cage up until this point. He is looking to not just beat Primus and take what he feels is his back – the belt, but he wants to prove a point against Primus.
“There’s nothing of substance that he can say because he is a part-time fighter. And he doesn’t fight a lot, and he doesn’t deserve to step in the cage with me,” Chandler said. “So I decided over this training camp there’s really not much to say about him besides the fact I want to go out there, and I’ve never wanted to inflict bodily harm on another individual as I do for this fight. I’ve always wanted to win, I’ve always wanted to be dominant, I’ve always wanted to score points. I’ve always wanted to be dominant, but I’ve never actually wanted to beat someone within an inch of their life and watch them gasp for air, and question their whole entire life. This is that fight, this is the fight that’s going to happen.”
Chandler believes that Primus owes him a big thank you. After all, ever since Primus hooked up with Chandler, he has been booked at the world famous Madison Square Garden, and now Primus gets a trip to Hawaii.
“He’s put himself in a great situation,” Chandler said. “I gave him the opportunity to fight at Madison Square Garden, the most iconic arena in the entire world. And he was able to get out there and get a (makes air quotes) ’win’ over me biggest stage free in the biggest stage of both of our lives. And now he gets the opportunity to have a free Hawaiian vacation. He just has to get beat up to earn it.”
“The fact he’s been sitting up in Oregon, it’s a travesty,” Chandler said. “He’s holding up the division. He needs to step in that cage, take his beating like a man. And just think that’s just what needs to happen. It’s going to be violent.”
Do you think Michael Chandler can reclaim the Bellator lightweight belt this month?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/6/2018.