Patricio Freire and Michael Chandler have no love loss for one another, but even Freire had to give it up to Chandler for his impressive UFC debut at UFC 257. Chandler was able to knock out the #6-ranked fighter in the UFC’s lightweight division and helped to dispel the narrative that Bellator fighters do not measure up to the UFC’s standard.
Chandler’s win also made Freire look like a strong ambassador for Bellator by proxy, seeing as how he holds a recent KO victory over Chandler in the Bellator lightweight division that saw him become a two-division champion in the promotion. But Freire believes that Chandler’s victory is bigger than either of them because it proves something about an entire promotion:
“Hooker did everything wrong,” Freire told Sherdog.com. “Chandler is a very explosive fighter. If you walk backwards like [Hooker] did, you will allow him to land his heavy hands. Chandler feinted a jab and caught him with a cross — something he has done his entire career.
“…Everybody knows that I don’t like Chandler, and I don’t cheer for him. But he is showing, like Eddie Alvarez did, the power of Bellator.”
Pitbull Breaks Down Michael Chandler vs. Dustin Poirier
Eddie Alvarez was able to capture the UFC lightweight championship after having wearing gold in Bellator. Michael Chandler hopes to have the opportunity to do the same in his next fight, which could potentially be against current #1-contender Dustin Poirier. If this fight takes place, Freire strongly favors Chandler.
“Poirier proved in that second fight against [Conor] McGregor that besides evolving his boxing, he also has a strong mind,” Freire said. “But Chandler’s game is a bad matchup for him. I truly believe he can beat Poirier very easily, just like he did with Hooker.
“He [Poirier] commits a couple of boxing mistakes that could be dangerous with Chandler. For example, he copies the [Floyd] Mayweather shoulder defense, which is really dangerous with four-ounce gloves. And he frequently gets hit because of that. If he gets hit by explosive guys with the knockout power of Chandler or myself, he will sleep. No doubt about it.”
Do you believe Michael Chandler’s victory over Dan Hooker helps show the “power of Bellator?”