Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler hasn’t competed since defending the gold against Ben Henderson at Bellator 165.
Even though he’s a two time lightweight champion in Bellator MMA, that hasn’t stopped Chandler from wanting to beat the UFC’s elite.
“I’ve always wanted to beat up Anthony Pettis, just because he’s been a big name,” Chandler said to MMA Junkie. “Obviously, Conor (McGregor), but that’s the easy answer. … But, yeah, Pettis, (Nate) Diaz. I think Diaz and I are polar opposites in a lot of areas. Honestly, Khabib (Nurmagomedov). I think that’s stylistically, or when you think about big fights, a guy who is undefeated, who cannot help himself but taking people down, picking them up, slamming them, and beating them up for as long as he wants to. That’s a guy I’d love to test myself against to show the world where my wrestling is at, to show where my striking is at.”
Chandler is most likely looking at a rematch with Patricky Freire next, because the Brazilian knocked out Josh Thomson at Bellator 172. Despite his desire to beat the UFC’s best lightweights, the Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion wants everybody to know that he’s happy where he is.
“I’m very happy with where my career is,” said Chandler. “I’m very happy with my relationship with Bellator and not just Bellator and Scott Coker and Rich Chou … but my relationship with the guys at Viacom and at Spike TV. To have that kind of support behind me is nothing short of amazing. On the one hand I see a ton of amazing matchups (in the UFC). And on the other hand I see great decisions that I’ve made for myself, my family, my future children. … But I’m very happy with where I’m at.”
The champion has yet to compete in 2017, his last bout came in November of 2016.