Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler is coming off of a successful title defense against former UFC lightweight Champion Ben Henderson at Bellator 165.
Chandler has his sights set on two new opponents in 2017, the first is a fighter he was supposed to fight twice before, but injuries scrapped those plans on both encounters.
“I want to fight (Thomson) next,” Chandler said to MMA Junkie Radio. “My only stipulation is that I’m not doing it in San Jose (Thomson’s hometown). I’ll do it anywhere else in the world. All I know is, when that fight gets announced, I’m not signing on the dotted line until they tell me, ‘OK, here’s your backup opponent, and here’s your date, and you’ll fight this guy when Josh gets hurt.'”
Chandler would also like to take a fight outside of the lightweight division, in fact, it would be a welterweight division fight against a recently signed UFC veteran.
“I think he needs to come in and get a win, but I would love the Rory MacDonald fight,” Chandler said. “He’s a tall drink of water. Benson fought at 170. He’s not a big 170-pounder, but he fought at both weight classes with success at both weight classes. So I don’t know. To me, it’s just another guy. I train with 170-pounders all the time at the gym, so to me it’s all the same. I’m walking around at 185, 190 (pounds), so I wouldn’t be a tiny welterweight, but I would be fast. Frankie Edgar-esque.”
Thomson is currently undefeated thus far under the Bellator MMA banner, while MacDonald has yet to compete since signing a deal with the promotion in 2016.