Michael Chandler holds two victories over Patricky Freire, who is the elder brother of Bellator featherweight Patricio Freire. This makes it more of a grudge match as Pactrio moves up to 155 to challenge Chandler for the belt.
They buildup to this superfight has been crazy. One should expect the two champs to go all out when they lock horns at Bellator 221. These career-defining moments explain why “Iron” is considered one of the greatest the promotion has ever seen.
Michael Chandler had an excellent amateur wrestling career before he started training at Xtreme Couture. He debuted in an event called First Blood won against Kyle Swadley via TKO. Chandler stayed at 170 until his third Bellator fight where he bested Marcin Held in the Bellator lightweight tournament. He was then submitted the much-hyped Polish welterweight via arm triangle in the first round.
After winning over Held, Chandler met an undefeated prospect in Lloyd Woodard. “Iron” used his superior wrestling to force a decision win and move to the finals opposite Patricky Freire, who had previously breezed through Rob McCullough and Toby Imada. With his trusted wrestling skills, Chandler was able to grind out Freire to get a unanimous decision victory as well as the tournament title at Bellator 44.
Winning the Bellator lightweight tournament made Michael Chandler $100,000 richer. It also gave him the opportunity to challenge Eddie Alvarez for the belt. In the title fight at Bellator 58, he forced a rear-naked choke finish in the fourth round. The Missouri native then impressively defended the title against Rick Hawn and David Rickels. Eventually, he crossed paths with Alvarez for a second time. Their rematch at Bellator 106 was a landmark battle that saw Alvarez reclaim his belt.
Regaining the Title
Alvarez vacated the Bellator lightweight strap when he moved to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As a result, Chandler fought Will Brooks two times and lost both fights. Brooks also signed with the UFC, leaving the title vacant once again which allowed Chandler to fight Freire. All it took was one solid punch for the Missouri native to be champion again.
In his first title defense since reclaiming the belt, Chandler lost via TKO to Brent Primus at Bellator NYC. Chandler worked his way to the top of the division again. Eventually, he was able to challenge the man who snatched the title away from him. This time Chandler avenged his previous loss to Primus with a unanimous decision at Bellator 212. With the victory, he became the first three-time champion in the promotion’s history.