Few fans can forget the heart and tenacity displayed by Bellator lightweight Michael Chandler this past November in his title-winning performance against Eddie Alvarez, a bout named by numerous outlets as 2011’s Fight of the Year (including Five Ounces of Pain). However, even Chandler knows the battle he waged inside the cage against Alvarez pales in comparison to those cancer patients deal with on a daily basis, especially when it comes to children afflicted with the often fatal illness.
As such, Chandler has partnered up with a charity focused on helping cancer-stricken children in his native St. Louis, Missouri. Called Friends of Kids with Cancer, the organization and Chandler have created a line of apparel called Blessed Threads featuring the 25-year old’s “blessed” motto with a significant portion of the proceeds going to the cause.
“Almost everyone has had family members or friends affected by cancer, and I just wanted to give back,” said the 9-0 Chandler in a press release announcing the move. “With my St. Louis roots, it seemed like a natural fit. Friends of Kids with Cancer do a fantastic job of helping these children go through the long process of treatment, and help ease the burden that falls on everyone affected. I’ve been incredibly blessed throughout my life, and these shirts are a way to give back and send a message that their fight should continue.”
Asked for his thoughts, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney glowed with pride on the topic of Chandler, explaining, “Michael Chandler represents everything that is good about Mixed Martial Arts. His drive, determination and world-class ability inside the cage are only rivaled by his character and integrity outside of it. Michael’s stepping up to help Friends of Kids with Cancer comes as no surprise. That’s just who he is.”
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/BELLATOR