Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as Bellator 120 blew the roof off the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, last Saturday night (May 17, 2014).
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Muhammed Lawal -- who failed to end Quinton Jackson's combat career (video highlights) -- and Alexander Shlemenko -- who was put to sleep by Tito Ortiz (recap).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover 48 hours removed from the show?
The former Bellator lightweight champion looked to secure his trilogy fight against current division kingpin, Eddie Alvarez, by defeating Will Brooks in the co-main event of the company's inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) event. In the process, Chandler looked to claim the company's not-so "shitty" interim strap.
Unfortunately, Brooks threw a monkey wrench in those plans by upsetting the former champ after a five-round war.
After what initially seemed like a cakewalk for Chandler early on (video), Brooks flipped the switch in the third frame and never let up, cutting open the former 155-pound champ and even wobbling him with a perfectly-placed leg kick. Both combatants had their shining moments in the back-and-forth affair, but the judges felt "Ill Will" had done enough to earn the win.
Was the call controversial? Maybe. But the fact remains, Chandler was supposed to win the bout. After all, it was only a warm up fight until Alvarez gets back to full health in order for the two bitter rivals to settle their differences.
But in mixed martial arts, not everything goes the way it's supposed to.
The loss for Chandler was only the second of his career, and perhaps his most devastating, as he will now be forced to start from scratch and go to the back of the 155-pound line.
Then again, maybe not.
The good thing for Chandler is that, despite losing, he is still the front runner to face Alvarez for the title. But hey, don't blame the Bellator matchmakers, blame Eddie's contract, since it states that he has the option to either face Brooks to unify the titles, or take on Chandler for the third and perhaps final time.
A fight that will likely take place on Bellator's next PPV card.
And unfortunately for Brooks, something tells me Eddie will choose Chandler as his next challenge. Sorry "Ill Will," but despite your impressive victory, Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 will likely bring more eyeballs to the tube and earn more PPV buys.
Something headliners get a percentage of.
So in the end, despite feeling blue and hungover after a loss, Chandler can find comfort in knowing that he'll more than likely find himself in another title fight, sooner rather than later.
Oh, and before you all start clowning Bellator's matchmaking and/or contract drafting skills for potentially letting a fighter vie for the world championship coming off a loss, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) -- the worlds preeminent MMA organization with the largest roster of fighters on the planet -- has done the very same thing.