Long-time Bellator MMA veteran Michael Chandler has signed an exclusive deal to remain with the promotion, according to a report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. Chandler -- the former Bellator Lightweight champion — completed the final fight on his old deal at Bellator 197, defeating Brandon Girtz via first-round submission this past April.
In doing so, Chandler secured himself a rematch against current division champion, Brett Primus, who defeated Michael in June 2017 to claim the 155-pound strap. The two men were set to run it back at Bellator 197 before Primus was forced out of the rematch with an injury.
Making his promotional debut way back in 2010, Chandler has competed a whopping 19 times for Bellator, racking up an impressive 15-4 record, including wins over Benson Henderson and Patricky Freire, among others. Of course, Chandler is best known for his rivalry with former Bellator and UFC lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, whom he defeated in 2011 to win the division strap. Two years later, Alvarez exacted revenge, edging out Chandler via split-decision before eventually bolting for UFC.
Chandler went on to drop two straight bouts to Will Brooks, before going on a four-fight win streak, re-claiming the title in the process before eventually coughing it up to Primus after suffering a nasty foot injury during the bout (see it).
While the signing is great news for both Chandler and Bellator, some may be disappointed that fight fans won’t get to see Chandler face off against some of the best UFC has to offer.