|Born||Michael Chandler Jr.
April 24, 1986
High Ridge, Missouri
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)|
|Reach||69.0 in (175 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Team||The Alliance (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||University of Missouri|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Michael Chandler Jr. (born April 24, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist fighting in the Lightweight division. He is currently under contract with Bellator Fighting Championships where he is the former Bellator Lightweight Champion. He was also the winner of the Bellator Season Four: Lightweight Tournament. He was the 2011 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year and is currently ranked as the #4 Lightweight in the world by FightMatrix and the #5 Lightweight by Sherdog.
Chandler was born and raised in High Ridge, Missouri. He was born the second of four children to Michael Sr. and Betty Chandler. In high school, Chandler was on the honor roll every term, received three letters in football, and finished second at the Missouri State High School Championships his senior year for wrestling. He was voted the Most Valuable Wrestler during his senior season and was selected to the All-St. Louis Team.
Upon graduating from Northwest High School in 2004, Chandler enrolled at the University of Missouri, walking onto the school's wrestling squad. While at Missouri Chandler was a four-time NCAA qualifier, collected 100 career wins, as well as earning fifth place at NCAA's earning Division 1 NCAA All-American honors. Chandler earned runner-up honors in the 2008 and 2009 Big 12 Championships and was awarded automatic bids to three of the four NCAA tournaments he competed in. Chandler compiled a 31-15 record against Big 12 opponents and a 100-40 overall record in his four years as a starter. He majored in personal finance management services with a minor in real estate.
Mixed martial arts career
Immediately after his wrestling career was over, Chandler began training mixed martial arts with Xtreme Couture. He opted out of competing as an amateur and in August 2009, Chandler made his professional MMA debut with a first round TKO victory over Kyle Swadley.
Bellator Fighting Championships
Chandler made his Bellator debut on September 30, 2010, at Bellator 31, where he defeated Scott Stapp via TKO in the first round. The fight was contested at a catchweight for Chandler to test himself for the Lightweight division, all his previous bouts being in the welterweight division.
In his next Bellator appearance, Chandler fought on the Bellator 32 card against Chris Page in a welterweight contest. Chandler won the fight in the opening minute via submission (guillotine choke).
In February 2011, Bellator announced that Chandler would be a part of the Bellator Season Four Lightweight Tournament. In the opening round of the tournament, Chandler fought Polish prospect, Marcin Held, at Bellator 36. Chandler won via technical submission after choking Held unconscious with an arm-triangle choke. The win moved Chandler into the semi-finals.
The tournament final took place at Bellator 44 where Chandler would face Team Nogueira product, Patricky Freire. Chandler utilized his wrestling skills, repeatedly taking down Freire and controlling the fight. He defeated Freire via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) to win $100,000 and a shot at the Bellator Lightweight Championship versus Eddie Alvarez.
Chandler was expected to compete for the Bellator Lightweight Championship at Bellator 54. However, Alvarez suffered an undisclosed injury and forcing the bout to be postponed until a later date. Chandler/Alvarez was rescheduled to take place on November 19, 2011 at Bellator 58. Chandler defeated Eddie Alvarez winning by rear naked choke in the fourth round. Chandler came in very aggressive in the first and second round. In the third round, Alvarez landed several shots stunning Chandler. In the fourth round, Chandler dropped Alvarez with a punch, took his back and forced the tapout.
In his first fight after winning the title, Chandler faced Japanese veteran Akihiro Gono in a non-title superfight at Bellator 67. He won the fight via TKO at just 56 seconds into the first round.
Chandler made the first defense of his title against Bellator Season Six Lightweight Tournament Winner and former olympic judoka Rick Hawn, at Bellator 85 on January 17, 2013. He won the fight via submission in the second round.
Chandler was set to make the second defense of his title against Bellator Season Seven Lightweight Tournament Winner Dave Jansen. The fight was to headline Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013. However, on June 2, it was announced that Jansen had to pull out of the bout due to an injury. Chandler faced David Rickels at Bellator 97. Chandler defeated Rickels via KO 44 seconds into the first round.
A third fight with Alvarez was set up for the main event of Bellator 120 on May 17, 2014. However, a week before the fight, it was announced that Alvarez had suffered a concussion and was forced to pull out of the fight. Chandler instead faced Will Brooks for the Interim Lightweight title. He lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.
Championships and awards
Mixed martial arts
- Bellator Fighting Championships
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- Missouri State High School Activities Association
- MSHSAA High School State Championship Runner-up (2004)
- All-St. Louis Team (2004)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|14 matches||12 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||12–2||Will Brooks||Decision (split)||Bellator 120||May 17, 2014||5||5:00||Southaven, Mississippi, United States||For the Interim Bellator Lightweight Championship|
|Loss||12–1||Eddie Alvarez||Decision (split)||Bellator 106||November 2, 2013||5||5:00||Long Beach, California, United States||Lost the Bellator Lightweight Championship|
|Win||12–0||David Rickels||KO (punches)||Bellator 97||July 31, 2013||1||0:44||Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States||Defended Bellator Lightweight Championship|
|Win||11–0||Rick Hawn||Submission (rear naked choke)||Bellator 85||January 17, 2013||2||3:07||Irvine, California, United States||Defended Bellator Lightweight Championship|
|Win||10–0||Akihiro Gono||TKO (punches)||Bellator 67||May 4, 2012||1||0:56||Rama, Ontario, Canada||Non-title bout|
|Win||9–0||Eddie Alvarez||Submission (rear naked choke)||Bellator 58||November 19, 2011||4||3:06||Hollywood, Florida, United States||Won Bellator Lightweight Championship; Fight of the Year (2011)|
|Win||8–0||Patricky Freire||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 44||May 14, 2011||3||5:00||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Bellator Lightweight Tournament Final|
|Win||7–0||Lloyd Woodard||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 40||April 9, 2011||3||5:00||Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States||Bellator Lightweight Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||6–0||Marcin Held||Technical Submission (arm triangle choke)||Bellator 36||March 12, 2011||1||3:56||Shreveport, Louisiana, United States||Bellator Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal; Lightweight debut|
|Win||5–0||Chris Page||Submission (standing guillotine choke)||Bellator 32||October 14, 2010||1||0:57||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
|Win||4–0||Scott Stapp||TKO (punches)||Bellator 31||September 30, 2010||1||1:57||Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States||165 lb catchweight bout|
|Win||3–0||Sal Woods||Submission (rear naked choke)||Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery||May 15, 2010||1||0:59||St. Louis, Missouri, United States||Fought at Welterweight|
|Win||2–0||Richard Bouphanouvong||TKO (punches)||Strikeforce Challengers 5||November 21, 2009||2||2:07||Kansas City, Kansas, United States||165 lb catchweight bout|
|Win||1–0||Kyle Swadley||TKO (punches)||FB - First Blood||August 8, 2009||1||3:30||Lake Ozark, Missouri, United States|
- "Lightweight (150-161 lbs) fighter ranks". fightmatrix.com. 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Sherdog's Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". sherdog.com. April 28, 2013.
- "Champ Eddie Alvarez meets Michael Chandler at November's Bellator 58". MMAJunkie.com. 2011-10-13.
- "Bellator 67 - Casino Rama, Rama, Ontario - Bellator Fighting Championships". Bellator.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- "Dave Jansen off Bellator 96, David Rickels meets Michael Chandler at Bellator 97". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- "Eddie Alvarez and Bellator mend fences, book Michael Chandler rematch for PPV". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Eddie Alvarez suffers concussion, out of Bellator 120". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10.