Former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler will have the chance to reclaim his old title when he faces Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire for the vacant strap at Bellator 157 (Bellator: Dynamite 2) on June 24th.
Chandler lost the belt to Will Brooks in 2014. With Brooks having now parted ways with Bellator after his contract ended and the promotion chose not to renew – the most likely reason being the fact Brooks was very vocal about his unhappiness with Bellator – Chandler admits he is somewhat disappointed he won’t get to avenge his two losses (Bellator 120 and Bellator 131) any time soon.
“No matter which way you look at it, if they didn’t want to keep (Brooks) or he didn’t want to be there, at the end of the day they let him go,” Chandler told MMAjunkie Radio. “A plus B equals C. If you conduct yourself a certain way in life things happen a certain way, and that’s what happened… I definitely wanted to avenge the loss to him, so I wanted to be able to fight him again and avenge that loss and win the belt from him, but like I said, this is a crazy industry.”
He may have to put his rivalry with Brooks to one side for the foreseeable future, but the former champ can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that, with Bellator having signed notable UFC lightweight veterans like Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson, there are bigger-name opponents for him to look forward to.
“He’s not very exciting; he’s not kind of a needle-mover,” Chandler said of Brooks. “For a champion, he was not the most well-known guy either. You take a Ben Henderson and a Josh Thomson – those are the kind of names in the sport that I want to fight… It’s interesting circumstances, not necessarily the circumstances I wanted to win the belt under, but it is the present circumstances, so I got to roll with it and win my fight June 24th and I’ll be walking away with the title that night.”
Bellator 157 takes place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.