Is Bellator On The Verge Of Losing Michael Chandler?

Michael Chandler has been viewed as a Bellator mainstay but free agency looms.

This isn’t a new situation for Chandler. The former three-time Bellator lightweight champion tested the market back in 2018. Ultimately, he decided to stick with Bellator. Fast forward to 2020 and Chandler finds himself with just one fight left on his contract.

Michael Chandler Weighing Options Ahead Of Free Agency

Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Chandler made it clear that he has a strong relationship with Bellator. With that said, Chandler also knows that he has to do what is best for himself.

“I’ve been on record saying I’d be very happy if I’m a Bellator fighter for the rest of my career and I retire with Bellator and I continue to pour into the company that has poured into me,” Chandler said. “We’ve had a very good, symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship. But also at the same token, I’m a prize fighter who fights for his family, his wife and his son, and our future and our platform and what we can do together. I’ve got to make the best decision for me and my family. As of right now, Bellator has not come with an offer we have accepted. We’re kind of in that limbo where I’m going to train and do my job just like any other athlete who is coming up to the end of their contract.”

Chandler has always expressed his belief that he can go head-to-head with the UFC‘s best 155-pounders. While the top promotion in terms of popularity and business might show interest in Chandler, there are other promotions as well. ONE Championship has signed the likes of Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez to big money deals. Other organizations such as KSW and RIZIN may also want to take a crack at Chandler.

The issue Chandler could face in negotiations is how COVID-19 impacts these promotions. A lot of organizations will be operating on a tight budget and there’s no guarantee that fighters with name recognition testing free agency will get as many offers as they would’ve in the past.

Chandler is expected to take on Benson Henderson in a rematch once Bellator starts running events again.

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