As Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler prepares to defend his title for the first time against Rick Hawn, he is making some major changes in his life. Not only has he moved into a new apartment he has also started training at a new gym. The 26-year-old native of Missouri realizes that these changes are essential and will help him grow as a person and as a fighter.
The last time Chandler was seen in the cage he was making short work of Japanese veteran Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67. Chandler needed just 56 seconds to finish Gono via TKO. He won the title in the Yahoo Sports 2011 Fight of the Year from Eddie Alvarez in a thrilling four-and-a-half round war in which he choked out the veteran after dropping Alvarez with a punch.
Many fans and Alvarez himself have called for an immediate rematch, but due to the tournament style that Bellator runs it was not going to happen and with Alvarez having just one fight left on his contract he will more than likely leave for what he perceives to be greener pastures. Chandler, though, sees no reason for a rematch and isn’t shy about voicing his opinion.
“I don’t need another fight, I can’t really ask for more than finishing somebody,” Chandler recently told Rebellion MMA Radio. “Obviously it was a war and that’s the cool thing about fighting, you can call it a war, but at the end of the day if someone got finished it’s over. It wasn’t like someone just got caught with something like a punch or a slick submission. It was me finishing a fight that could’ve gone either way if I was prepared to let it go the other way, but for my personal feelings I’m not interested in a rematch.”
“At this point I just want to fight who Bellator puts in front of me. If Eddie stays with Bellator and everything goes according to that plan (Alvarez winning the LW tournament) then I’m down to rematch obviously. I’m a fighter and I’ll fight whomever. It would be a great fight for the fans, but for me I’m just focused on fighting whoever is next, I’m not necessarily looking for a rematch with Eddie.”
No official date has been set for Chandler-Hawn.