Michael Chandler was looking to defend his lightweight title against Patricio Freire at Bellator 221. However, the featherweight champion knocked him out in just 61 seconds.
Now, after a few days to think about it, the former champion has released a statement on the loss.
“This sport has never been about wins and losses for me. I realize this is a very easy thing to say after you have lost a fight. I refuse to say it doesn’t sting,” Chandler started. “I refuse to say I haven’t shed a tear or two over it. I’m not ashamed to say it hurts. But this sport is as merciless and unforgiving as it is beautiful and exhilarating. We can’t enjoy the spoils of the good without also accepting the pains of the bad. When I woke up Sunday morning I woke up a winner for more reasons than I can count.
“In the last few days I’ve spent quality time with my family and in a weird way this loss and the embarrassment that accompanies it has made me love them and myself deeper. It has made me love the fans deeper. It has made me love this sport deeper.
“Getting knocked down and embarrassed for the whole world to see is never easy. The naysayers have been and will continue to come out of the woodwork,” he said. “The constant struggle to block out the negativity and focus only on the good has been a mountainous task, but a battle I am winning. I relish in the notion that this journey is far from over and I am certain that the best is yet to come.
“Picture me sitting somewhere out there right now… with a confident smirk on my face because I secretly love my back against the wall,” he added. “I secretly love being the hunter and not the hunted. I thrive in an environment where I have nothing to lose. You thought you’ve seen hard work before? You haven’t seen anything. I’m plotting… See you at the top!”