The former three-time lightweight champion and the face of Bellator, Michael Chandler bettered his last performance against Benson Henderson.
The first time they met was back in 2016 at Bellator 165 and Chandler picked up a split decision win. This time, he not only finished Henderson but only needed two minutes to do it via Knockout. This was only the second time Henderson has been finished like that.
There was a lot of respect going into the fight, but things eventually started getting a bit testy. The 34-year-old Chandler came out taking the center of the cage. Both fighters landed shots and Henderson used his kicks and looked to rip the body as well.
Michael Chandler answered by switching stances back and forth. He chose to rely on the power in his hands. Chandler came forward and just missed with a right hand, but connected with the following left to the jaw that crumbled Henderson to the canvas.
Turtling up, Michael Chandler looked to land some ground and pound. Referee Dan Miragliotta was already diving into wave off the fight. The loss stops a four-fight win streak for "Smooth" and it gives Michael Chandler his 13th Bellator finish in his 23rd fight. It was also his 16th career finish in 21 wins.
Leading up to the fight there was much speculation that this might be his last fight for the company. Also in the lead-up Chandler said, because of how tough Benson is, he doubted that it would end in a finish. It possibly ends his run in the company on a two-fight winning streak as well.
Post-fight speaking with Big John McCarthy he spoke about his future.
"It's all in God's hands. And Scott Coker you're now on the clock, let's get something done". said Michael Chandler about his impending free agency.
He also took the time to thank every Bellator employee he has ever come in contact with.
With the UFC earlier in the day releasing both Corey Anderson and Ray Borg, their money could be used as just a signing bonus to bring in one of the best Lightweights around. Adding another shark into their deep pool wouldn't hurt either parties as well.