Former Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler is coming off of a first round submission win over Brandon Girtz in the main event of Bellator 197.
Chandler is nearing the end of his contract with the promotion, but the former champion doesn’t intend on signing anywhere else.
“I have no intentions of leaving Bellator,” Chandler said on MMA Junkie Radio. “We’ll see what happens, but to me, I don’t think there would be any other interest for me to go anywhere else besides Bellator or the UFC. Obviously, I’m very happy with where I’m at right now. But there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t constantly think about this career that I have moving forward.”
Four fighters have held the Bellator MMA Lightweight Title since the gold was first won by Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 12. However, two of the four fighters who have held the strap, Alvarez and Will Brooks, have both ventured into the UFC, only Chandler and current division kingpin Brent Primus have stayed with Bellator.
The former lightweight champ wouldn’t mind a shot against current UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, whom Chandler says he could beat everytime they fight.
“That’s the thing: From the outside perspective, people always think, ‘Bellator, UFC, ONE FC, blah blah blah,’” Chandler said. “I don’t think about promotions, I think about the guys. How do I match up against Khabib? How do I take exactly what Al Iaquinta did, except with my wrestling, and my striking, and my wrestling offense and defense. How I would nullify his takedowns, how I would even take him down, how I would get in his face, and how he would finally have somebody put hands on him and hurt him like Michael Johnson did? I think that picture has been painted a couple of times, of how to beat Khabib. And I think I beat him 10 times out of 10.”
There is no word at this time as to how many fights are left on Chandler’s contract, but it doesn’t seem like the former champion is going anywhere anyway.