Some fighters might tell you they’d prefer to walk through an opponent like a chainsaw through butter, notching an early stoppage rather than absorb any damage. However, Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler sees things differently, at least in regards to his memorable title-winning performance against Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58.
Chandler came out incredibly strong in the scrap, nearly putting Alvarez way in the opening round, but slowed some in the following frames and nearly saw the fight slip away before mounting an impressive comeback in the fourth. And, according to the unbeaten 25-year old, he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“I’m glad people saw me with my back against the wall,” Chandler recently explained in an interview with Sherdog Radio, “And I still was able to win the fight.”
Chandler’s mindset stems from the notion his ability to overcome adversity let the world know he’s more than a one-punch pony. The win over Alvarez certainly did just that, making it clear Chandler is force to be reckoned with at 155 even though he’s still early on in his development as a complete Mixed Martial Artist.
“I honestly don’t really care or know where my ranking’s going to go,” the Xtreme Couture product responded when asked about what the victory might do for his standing in the opinion of others. “All I can really control is how many hours I put in the gym and how hard I’m working and how focused I am and how badly I just want to continue to defend the belt and continue getting better and better. The sky’s the limit.”
“I’ve got a lot, a lot of hours — thousands and thousands of hours to put in (at) the gym,” he continued. “I know I’m going to get there eventually, one day, and I know I will be known as the greatest lightweight in the world and hopefully the greatest fighter of all time. That’s why I’m here.”
Chandler holds a 9-0 record with seven stoppages including the Rear-Naked Choke finish of Alvarez. Other past wins include victories over Marcin Held and Patricky Freire.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR
MMATraining Take: I truly believe Chandler can achieve his goal of being the top lightweight in MMA as long as he keeps evolving. He reminds me of a more powerful Frankie Edgar – great wrestling, huge heart, cardio for days, and a tremendous attitude about refining his game.