Michael Chandler made an impressive UFC debut with a losing knockout victory Dan Hooker at UFC 257. But like any other athlete in martial arts, Chandler is vulnerable to being knocked out by a perfectly placed kick. That’s exactly what happened to ‘Iron’ when he fought current Bellator two-league champion Patricia ‘Pitbull’ Freire in May 2019.
The fight between Michael Chandler and Patricio Freire it lasted a total of 61 seconds. Chandler twice tried to enter Pitbull with a level change during the initial payout process, but encountered a turnaround right from his faster enemy at both entrances. A third attempt to enter with a stab and a change of level resulted in a knockdown as Pitbull moved out of the way of the stab and landed another addition to the right to Chandler’s Temple. The referee managed to stop the fight after a few more subsequent punches.
After twice defending the Bellator lightweight title in 2018, Patricio Pitbull battled lightweight champion Michael Chandler at Bellator 221 on May 11, 2019 in an attempt to become Bellator’s second two-division champion. Pitbull has since enjoyed double-champion status and has since defended the featherweight title on two more occasions.
Michael Chandler worked his way up to the UFC after losing his Bellator title
Michael Chandler has long been considered one of the best MMA fighters outside the UFC. The loss of the title from the lower league champions significantly reduced Chandler’s stock. However, Chandler continued to win three consecutive fights at Bellator and impressed the MMA community with a devastating knockout victory over the former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at Bellator 243 in August 2020.
Chandler’s first meeting with Henderson back in 2016 resulted in a split decision for the former. The way he won made many question whether Chandler could do well against the UFC’s lightweight fighters if he ever signed with a promotion.
The victory over Henderson at Bellator 243 answered questions, and Chandler was chosen by the UFC while testing a free agency. The win over Dan Hooker catapulted Michael Chandler into the top five of the UFC lightweight division.
The withdrawal of champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and 1st place ranked Dustin Poirier’s interest in fighting the trilogy with Conor McGregor left the title within reach.
Michael Chandler will fight in 3rd place Charles Oliveira for a vacant UFC lightweight title at the UFC 262 pay-per-view event scheduled for May 15, 2021. Michael Chandler will become the second fighter to win a Bellator and UFC title if he defeats Charles Oliveira, the first being Eddie Alvarez.