Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler doesn’t like to hear people complain.
Chandler took note of recent comments made by current division titleholder Will Brooks during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (thanks to MMAFighting.com for transcribing) and responded, defending the promotion he’s called home since 2009.
“The fact that he came out and said something about, Bellator doesn’t care about the guys that they have on the roster, (that) they only care about the new guys coming in,” Chandler started. “Man, I am the epitome of an OG in this Bellator division. I’ve been in this promotion since 2009, when I fought in front of 17 people on FOX Deportes at two in the morning after a girls softball game.
“That was the kind of slots we were getting on TV and now here we are on Spike TV.”
Brooks was commenting on recent signings including that of Benson Henderson, who jumped to the front of the line and will challenge later this year for the welterweight title.
“I’ve been with this promotion since the dark days and now I’m about to sign my second big deal with (Bellator),” Chandler said. “Not many times in a fighter’s career does he get to sign one big deal, with signing bonuses and incentives and big numbers. Now I’m on my second and I’m only 29 years old.
“And it’s not necessarily the longest-term deal that anybody’s ever signed, either. It’s a testament to being a great employee.”
Chandler earned his shot at the belt in 2011 and delivered, submitting Eddie Alvarez in the fourth round. He defended it twice vs. Rick Hawn and David Rickels before falling to Alvarez via split decision in the rematch two years later.
After another split decision loss, this time to Brooks for the interim title, Chandler suffered his first stoppage defeat in their 2014 rematch. He has since won two straight, submitting Derek Campos and finishing Rickels.