Bellator president Scott Coker is confident that Michael Chandler will stay with the promotion.
Chandler has been known as a mainstay for Bellator. He has become a fighter who many consider to be the best lightweight outside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). With a record of 18-4 and two Bellator lightweight title reigns to his credit, it’s easy to see why Chandler is praised.
The UFC has a stacked lightweight division. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan often refers to a division as “murderer’s row,” but the 155-pound weight class deserve that distinction. Chandler has been hinting at a potential UFC run, saying he has what it takes to knock off current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Coker told MMAJunkie.com that Bellator plans to keep Chandler under wraps:
“We have every intent to keep him. I feel we’ll get a deal done. … I think, really, Michael wants to stay, and we want to keep him, so I don’t even think we’ll get to this point (that he talks to the UFC).”
Chandler has gone 6-1 in his last seven outings. His only loss in that span was to Brent Primus. That fight was stopped due to an injury Chandler sustained. The two have been linked to a rematch in the past, but the former champion is tired of waiting.
In his last outing, Chandler submitted Brandon Girtz in the opening round. It’s just the second submission loss in Girtz’s career. In the bout prior, Chandler earned a unanimous decision win over Goiti Yamauchi. Many wondered if Yamauchi could present problems for Chandler, but he wasn’t able to.
Do you think Michael Chandler will make the jump to the UFC or stick with Bellator?