FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week: Michael Chandler
By Dan McConnell
Bellator and the UFC rolled into town this past weekend, with Bellator’s second card inside the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday and the UFC continuing their Vegas fight card on Saturday night.
On the UFC’s card, Beneil Dariush impressed and secured a lovely KO via spinning back fist over Scott Holtzman.
While Kevin Holland TKO win over Joaquin Buckley was insane, with his opponents mouth piece flying half-way across the octagon!
Also Valerie Loureda went 3-0 as a pro after her nasty KO victory over Tara Graff at Bellator on Friday night! Loureda is more known for her grappling and is black belt in BJJ.,
But for me, Michael Chandler secured the FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week award, with his first round knockout finish over former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson who was on a four-fight win streak.
The former NCAA Div 1 All-American, KO’d Benson Henderson in the first round at the 2:09 minute mark, and continued to prove at the age of 34 why he is still one of the best 155-pounders in the world!
This was the last fight on Chandler’s Bellator contract, and there are whispers that the 26-fight veteran will move on after spending a decade with Bellator MMA.
The Nashville-native has fought a whos who in the sport including Patricky Freire, Eddie Alvarez, Dave Rickles, Will Brooks, Derek Campos, Benson Henderson, Brent Primus and Brandon Gitz.
Imagine ‘Iron Mike’ made the jump to the UFC. If he signed I would love to see him take on Gregor Gillespie, who beat him during his NCAA days. Or else Paul Felder to kick-start his UFC career.
The three time Bellator lightweight champ would certainly add something to the UFC’s lightweight division with the likes of Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson and Dan Hooker as possible opponents.
At 21-5, I don’t think Chandler is finished and still has a lot to offer in his career. It’s quite remarkable how athletic and youthful he looks, after making his debut way back in August 2009 when the sport was only taking off!
Chandler has an impressive resume and arguably the great in terms of the ‘mount Rushmore of MMA’.
His accolades include the most submission victories in Bellator lightweight division (6) Tied for most fights in Bellator history with (23) Most stoppage wins in Bellator MMA history (10) and the most title bouts in Bellator MMA history (11) among many more accolades in his 11-year professional career.
Photo Credit: Bellator MMA