Michael Chandler
19 - 4 - 0
38 years
  • KO/TKO
  • SUB
  • DEC


Chandler was born and raised in High Ridge, Missouri. He was born the second of four children to Michael Sr. and Betty Chandler. In high school, Chandler was on the honor roll every term, received three letters in football, and finished second at the Missouri State High School Championships his senior year for wrestling. He was voted the Most Valuable Wrestler during his senior season and was selected to the All-St. Louis Team.[1][2]

Upon graduating from Northwest High School in 2004, Chandler enrolled at the University of Missouri, walking onto the school’s wrestling squad. While at Missouri Chandler was a four-time NCAA qualifier, collected 100 career wins, as well as earning fifth place at NCAA’s earning Division 1 NCAA All-American honors. Chandler earned runner-up honors in the 2008 and 2009 Big 12 Championships and was awarded automatic bids to three of the four NCAA tournaments he competed in. Chandler compiled a 31-15 record against Big 12 opponents and a 100-40 overall record in his four years as a starter.[1] He majored in personal finance management services with a minor in real estate.[2]

Mixed martial arts career

Immediately after his wrestling career was over, Chandler began training mixed martial arts with Xtreme Couture. He opted out of competing as an amateur and in August 2009, Chandler made his professional MMA debut with a first-round TKO victory over Kyle Swadley.[3]


Chandler made his Strikeforce debut on November 20, 2009 at Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Bears where he fought Richard Bouphanouvong, He won the fight via TKO in round two.

His next fight in Strikeforce was on May 15, 2010 at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery where he fought Sal Woods, He won the fight via submission in under a minute.[4]

Bellator Fighting Championships

Chandler made his Bellator debut on September 30, 2010, at Bellator 31, where he defeated Scott Stapp via TKO in the first round. The fight was contested at a catchweight for Chandler to test himself for the Lightweight division, all his previous bouts being in the welterweight division.

In his next Bellator appearance, Chandler fought on the Bellator 32 card against Chris Page in a welterweight contest. Chandler won the fight in the opening minute via submission (guillotine choke).

In February 2011, Bellator announced that Chandler would be a part of the Bellator Season Four Lightweight Tournament.[5] In the opening round of the tournament, Chandler fought Polish prospect, Marcin Held, at Bellator 36. Chandler won via technical submission after choking Held unconscious with an arm-triangle choke. The win moved Chandler into the semi-finals.[6]

Chandler then fought Lloyd Woodard at Bellator 40 and won via unanimous decision to move onto the finals of the tournament.

The tournament final took place at Bellator 44 where Chandler would face Team Nogueira product, Patricky Freire. Chandler utilized his wrestling skills, repeatedly taking down Freire and controlling the fight. He defeated Freire via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) to win $100,000 and a shot at the Bellator Lightweight World Championshipversus Eddie Alvarez.

Lightweight Champion

Chandler was expected to compete for the Bellator Lightweight World Championship at Bellator 54. However, Alvarez suffered an undisclosed injury and forcing the bout to be postponed until a later date.[7] Chandler/Alvarez was rescheduled to take place on November 19, 2011 at Bellator 58.[8] Chandler defeated Eddie Alvarez winning by rear naked choke in the fourth round. Chandler came in very aggressive in the first and second round. In the third round, Alvarez landed several shots stunning Chandler. In the fourth round, Chandler dropped Alvarez with a punch, took his back and forced the tapout.

In his first fight after winning the title, Chandler faced Japanese veteran Akihiro Gono in a non-title superfight at Bellator 67.[9] He won the fight via TKO at just 56 seconds into the first round.

Chandler made the first defense of his title against Bellator Season Six Lightweight Tournament Winner and former olympic judoka Rick Hawn, at Bellator 85 on January 17, 2013. He won the fight via submission in the second round.

Chandler was set to make the second defense of his title against Bellator Season Seven Lightweight Tournament Winner Dave Jansen. The fight was to headline Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013. However, on June 2, it was announced that Jansen had to pull out of the bout due to an injury. Chandler faced David Rickels at Bellator 97.[10] Chandler defeated Rickels via KO 44 seconds into the first round.

Title loss and return

A rematch with Eddie Alvarez took place on November 2, 2013 in the main event at Bellator 106.[11] Chandler lost the fight via split decision.

A third fight with Alvarez was set up for the main event of Bellator 120 on May 17, 2014. However, a week before the fight, it was announced that Alvarez had suffered a concussion and was forced to pull out of the fight.[12] Chandler instead faced Will Brooks for the Interim Lightweight title. He lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.

With Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez leaving the promotion, Chandler faced Will Brooks in a rematch on November 15, 2014 at Bellator 131 for the vacant Lightweight title.[13] He lost the fight via TKO in the fourth round.

Chandler faced Derek Campos at Bellator 138 on June 19, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.[14] After a dominant start on the feet, including a knockdown, he won the fight via submission in the first round.

Chandler had a rematch with Dave Rickels on November 6, 2015 at Bellator 145.[15] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.

Second title reign

In May 2016, Bellator President Scott Coker announced that Chandler would have a rematch against Patricky Freire at Bellator 157 on June 17, 2016. The bout was for the vacant Bellator Lightweight Championship, which was vacated when champion Will Brooks was released from the promotion.[16] Chandler regained the title after winning via knockout in the first round.

In his first title defense, Chandler faced former World Extreme Cagefighting and UFC champion Benson Henderson in the main event at Bellator 165 on November 19, 2016. He won the back-and-forth bout via split decision.

For his second title defense, Chandler faced Brent Primus at Bellator NYC on June 24, 2017. At 2:22 in the first round, the bout was temporarily halted by the referee to check on Chandler, whose left ankle was visibly injured. The bout was stopped in favor of Primus via TKO, awarding him the Bellator Lightweight Championship.[17]

Post-title reign

Following the loss to Primus, Chandler remained out of action for the remainder of 2017. He made his return at Bellator 192 on January 20, 2018. on January 20, 2018 against Goiti Yamauchi[18] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[19]

In a rematch, Chandler was expected to challenge Brent Primus for the Bellator Lightweight Championship at Bellator 197 on April 13, 2018. After Primus pulled out of the fight, citing a knee injury, Chandler was scheduled to fight Brandon Girtz on the same card. He won the fight via submission in the first round.

In late June 2018, reports surfaced that Chandler’s contract with Bellator would expire imminently, making him a free agent.[20] After testing free agency, it was announced on August 22, 2018, that Chandler had signed a new, exclusive multi-fight contract with Bellator.[21]

Third title reign

Chandler’s anticipated rematch with Brent Primus took place on December 14, 2018, at Bellator 212.[22] Chandler dominated the majority of the fight by out-wrestling Primus, ultimately defeating him by unanimous decision and regaining the Bellator Lightweight World title in the process.[23]

Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Chandler