PRESS RELEASE / CHICAGO, Ill. (September 17, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships has officially signed undefeated up-and-comer Michael Chandler to its growing list of impressive lightweight fighters. Chandler enters the promotion with a fresh 3-0 professional record including a rear-naked-choke victory over Sal Woods at last May’s Strikeforce event.
“Michael Chandler is a great signing for us at 155,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He has unlimited potential in the sport, I’m excited to see him progress as a fighter under the Bellator banner.”
The 24-year-old Missouri native possesses an impressive wrestling pedigree, leading his junior and senior varsity wrestling teams as the captain both years. After high school Chandler wrestled under Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Champion Ben Askren and Strikeforce veteran Tyron Woodley at the University of Missouri, where he was also the captain the varsity wrestling team his junior and senior year. Chandler says he has been planning for this from the beginning.
“I started training MMA right out of college. I took my first training camp with the soon-to-be Bellator Welterweight Champion Askren. My first training camp was with Ben in Canada about three or four weeks after Nationals during my senior year,” said Chandler. “I always knew I was going to fight, even two years before I started training seriously.”
After a brief stint training at the American Kickboxing Academy, Chandler moved to Las Vegas where he currently trains with Randy Couture’s highly acclaimed gym Xtreme Couture.
Chandler believes it’s his ability to take it to the next level that separates him from other lightweights in the sport.
“I can push the pace harder than anybody at 155,” said Chandler. “My strength is my ability to keep up a hard pace and my ability to break people. I think it will be hard for anyone to keep up with me. I’ve been competing my entire life and now I’m focused on becoming the next Bellator Champion at 155.”
Chandler makes his Bellator debut on September 30th at Bellator 31 at the L’Auberge du Lac Resort in Lake Charles, LA.