Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi slated for Bellator 192

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Former lightweight champion Michael Chandler isn’t getting an immediate title rematch.

Instead, Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA), who lost his title after suffering a lower-leg injury in a June loss to Brent Primus, is slated to fight Goiti Yamauchi (22-3 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) at Bellator 192.

Chandler announced the fight via Instagram following an initial report from MMAFighting.com:

Instagram Photo

Bellator 192 takes place Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Before the title loss – which proved to be a major debacle – Chandler, who’s an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, halted a three-fight skid with four straight victories. During that run, the 31-year-old, who earned NCAA Division I All-American wrestling honors at the University of Missouri, defeated the likes of former UFC champ Benson Henderson and vet Patricky Freire.

He now meets Yamauchi, a 24-year-old Japanese-born Brazilian submission specialist who’s riding a three-fight winning streak with six victories in his past seven fights. Most recently, he scored a submission victory over Adam Piccolotti in September. His past five wins have all come via submission.

The latest Bellator 192 card now includes:

  • Champ Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald – for welterweight title
  • Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch ex-Bellator champ Michael Chandler train hard for comeback in powerful mini-doc

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos

Michael Chandler is a man on a mission.

Certainly you haven’t forgotten the gruesome ankle injury Chandler suffered in the first round of his title defense with Brent Primus that cost him the lightweight championship in June at Bellator NYC.

It was an unfortunate thing to happen to Chandler, who showed a warrior spirit by continuing to fight through until the referee stepped to have him examined by the cageside doctor. The decision was obvious: Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) couldn’t continue, so he lost his belt via injury TKO to Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA).

Now some four-plus months later, Chandler, who spoke to MMAjunkie Radio in September about future plans, is training for a comeback. You can see him hard at work in the wonderfully produced mini-documentary “The Mind of the Obsessed.” And in it, Chandler also has a message for Primus.

“He was praying to God that I didn’t get up off that stool and come back out to fight him. Because he knew I was going to finish him. He had a man completely debiliated, literally on one leg, and he didn’t even land a punch. He was afraid to take it. He was afraid to win. He was afraid to be the champion.

“When I rematch him, and I step back into that cage, I’m going to finish him in the first round.”

Check out the full mini-doc from the folks at Absolute Motivation in the video above.

Ans for complete coverage of Bellator NYC, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Primus rematch? Sure, but Michael Chandler also eyes 170 with MacDonald and Daley


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Michael Chandler hasn’t really held back when discussing the controversial ending to a title-costing affair with Brent Primus. And when another 155-pound fighter tried to crash Bellator’s title scene, the ex-champ made sure to reinsert himself in the chatter.

So you’d figure that Bellator President Scott Coker’s reassurance that a rematch with Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) is the next logical step for champ Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) would be met with at least some enthusiasm by the former titleholder, right?

Well, not quite.

“Honestly, I couldn’t care less at this point,” Chandler told MMAjunkie Radio. “I just – I want big fights. I’m not necessarily wanting to fight Brent Primus next. At this point, I’ve already sat out for a little while. And they’ve let (Primus) act like he can actually call some shots and decide when he wants to fight.

“I know Scott Coker said something about February, March. That’s out of the question. Because I need to fight. And I want to fight. I’ve been teasing that I would love to go up a weight class and take some challengers there. I’ve got some options.”

This is, of course, not Chandler’s first time talking about a different weight class. After the leg injury that ended his recent Bellator NYC meeting with Primus proved to be less serious than it looked, the hungry ex-champ quickly resumed his training while eyeing a return.

Seeing that welterweight Rory MacDonald was dealing with a similar case of cage itch, Chandler even issued a challenge to the former UFC title challenger (via Twitter):

Chandler may have been fighting at 155 pounds for “99 percent” of his career, but he doesn’t really see himself as a small lightweight. Nor is he intimidated by the thought of meeting long-time 170-pounders. So, though MacDonald specifically is now scheduled to meet champ Douglas Lima, Chandler said now would be as good a time as any to start taking on these challenges.

“I’m not just looking to fight; I’m looking to get big fights,” Chandler said. “You only get a small window of opportunity in this sport. Someday I’m going to look back and wonder how many fights kind of flew under the radar for me.

Paul Daley had a nice, big impressive win this past weekend (over Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183). That’s a fight that I would like, eventually. The Rory MacDonald fight is a fight that I would like eventually.”

That is not to say that Chandler doesn’t want a chance to reclaim the 155-pound belt. But he also believes that opportunity is “always going to be there.” So with Primus’ focus currently geared toward tending to his newborn, and Chandler’s desire to get back in there soon, he simply doesn’t see a title match as his only option.

“For me, my happiness is not tied to a belt,” Chandler said. “My happiness is not tied to that gold. They’re sitting in my house, and they’re collecting dust. And they will tarnish, and they will rust, and they will kind of deteriorate.

“But my career and the big fights and the people I impacted, and the people that watch me and the people that were inspired and motivated by a guy who wasn’t afraid to take on all comers, a guy who wasn’t afraid to get outside of his comfort zone and call out bigger guys, and call out big fights – that’s really what’s going to be painted in ink on my legacy forever, after I’m done. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Having shown a a lot less than he’d like at Madison Square Garden in June against Primus, Chandler is eager to create some new cage memories. But while he’s obviously had some trouble digesting the freakish way that title meeting ended, Chandler said it only hurt Primus’ own case as the division’s legitimate champion.

Chandler says he can’t really pin his own dissatisfaction with the “unfortunate set of consequences” that led to the doctor stoppage on Primus. But at the same time, he said the “part-time fighter” champ should be the one most invested in the rematch.

“If anything, he should be chomping at the bit to beat me and legitimize himself as the champion,” Chandler said. “I would think, if you have a competitive bone in your body, I would think that’s how your brain would work.”

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2532 with Michael Chandler and Walt Harris

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Michael Chandler and Walt Harris.

Chandler talked about his preference of fighting frequently and possibly out of his weight class vs. waiting for 2018 to rematch Bellator lightweight Brett Primus. Harris is excited for his fight booking vs. Mark Godbeer at UFC 216, but would like to get back on the PPV main card, now that Paige VanZant has pulled out of her fight.

You can stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com or listen below.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Michael Chandler and Walt Harris

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Michael Chandler and Walt Harris.

Former Bellator champ Chandler talks about the chaos atop the lightweight division. Harris fights Mark Godbeer on Oct. 7 at UFC 216.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Sorry 'Pitbull': Scott Coker says Michael Chandler first for champ Brent Primus


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Although Patricky Freire and Brent Primus apparently have signed off on a fight, Bellator chief Scott Coker hasn’t forgotten about Michael Chandler.

Coker indicated the ex-lightweight champ is likely first in line to face champ Primus after their bizarre meeting in June.

“We’ve been waiting for Chandler to fight Primus again,” Coker told MMAjunkie after this past Saturday’s Bellator 183 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) suffered a freak ankle injury and ceded the belt at Bellator 180. He anticipated a rematch with Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) after he healed up. As it turned out, the injury didn’t turn out to be as severe as it looked.

So what’s the holdup? According to Coker, it isn’t the ex-champ, but the current one.

“(Primus’) wife is having a baby, and we’re very respectful of that,” Coker said. “We’re waiting for him, and when he’s ready to re-engage, I think Chandler should be the first one.”

Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA), of course, disagrees. After adding an ex-UFC champ to his list of wins this past Saturday, he accused Primus of ducking previous bookings and said he should get a title shot.

To his delight, Primus agreed.

“@PatrickyPitbull congrats on the fight tonight man! You say I ran from you twice? I’ve signed the only contact I got to fight you. #ready,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Thanks! I have to promote the fight,” Freire replied. “Let’s do this! Good luck with your baby.”

Chandler was none too happy about the turn of events, sliding into the conversation to mock the two.

“You two can fight it out for title of ‘never heard of that guy’ and ‘chokes under pressure,’” he wrote.

Predictably, Freire was not amused.

“You were lucky last time,” he replied. “I can’t wait to shut your big mouth. I’ll deliver the beating of a lifetime before knocking you out.”

Freire then challenged Chandler to a fight – 11 days away at Bellator 184.

Bellator’s lightweight division is such that the trio will probably all end up fighting each other again at some point – the only question is in what order. But from the looks of it, that is already set.

To hear more from Coker, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bizarre Bellator title triangle: Michael Chandler, Patricky Freire, Brent Primus battle on social media

Bellator’s lightweight title picture is a little complicated right now. But it’s been amusing to watch its main players trying to figure it out.

After a weird injury put an anti-climatic end to their Bellator NYC title encounter, a rematch seemed inevitable for champ Brent Primus and ex-champ Michael Chandler. But then Bellator 183 happened – and, with a win over former UFC champion and Bellator title challenger Benson Henderson, Patricky Freire crashed the party.

And then they all started airing some grievances on social media.

Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) thinks he deserves a shot before Chandler – with whom he also welcome a rematch. Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA), who actually has his eye on another Bellator division, apparently thinks both Primus and Freire are lame. And Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA), who doesn’t think the Earth is flat but does like puppies, would be OK with fighting either.

Confusing, we know, but we’ll walk you through it.

Before the meeting with Henderson even took place, Freire told MMAjunkie that he’d already had two appointments with Primus agreed to – and that the now-champ had avoided him twice.

Primus, however, politely disputed that account later – not without first congratulating Freire on his win. To which an equally polite Freire replied, leading Primus to gush about being a parent while at the same time sort of agreeing to hit another man in the face.

The atypically nice exchange wasn’t lost on Chandler, who wasn’t about to let this unfold without making his presence known. But, you know, in a somewhat less friendly manner than the two.

First, he talked to them directly.

And then Chandler made a separate post to air his feelings on the way the other two lightweights handled their business.

Instagram Photo

Freire wasn’t about to extend Chandler, who knocked him out in a Bellator 157 co-headliner for the vacant 155-pound title, the same courtesy directed toward Primus. So he challenged the “pathetic” former champion to a rematch –  date suggestion included.

Primus also went out of his way to issue Chandler a response. After some shade about the former titleholder and the controversial leg injury (which, by the way, is a whole separate conversation) that put an end to their recent title match, the champ went on to clarify his stances on relevant matters such as: The shape of our planet, respect in martial arts and, most importantly, puppies.

Instagram Photo

That particular three-way beef seems to be on hold for now, but not before some unsuspicious victims got caught in the cross-fire.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Patricky Freire says he should get title shot before Michael Chandler


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Bellator lightweight Patricky Freire believes he’s earned the right to cut the line of contenders at 155 pounds.

Although many think Michael Chandler’s (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) freak injury loss to champ Brent Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) guarantees a rematch, “Pitbull” Freire said he should be first.

“Listen, I’m the top dog,” Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) told MMAjunkie after his split-call win over ex-UFC champ Benson Henderson (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) at Bellator 183. “He was fighting, he got hurt. He hurt his leg. Nobody knows what happened, and two weeks later, he’s running. That’s his fault.

“I’m at the top of the list. I’ve been at the top of the list for 18 victories. This is my chance. This is my shot. That’s why I deserve it.”

Freire edged Henderson in a Spike-televised headliner at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., coming on strong in the third and final frame of a very close fight.

“I feel prepared for the big gold,” Freire said backstage after the fight.

Chandler undoubtedly will have something to say about that. But soon after the fight, he let a video clip do the talking, posting a highlight reel of his wins over Freire and Henderson in his second title reign.

“I still have one more ‘Pitbull’ on my list,” Chandler wrote, signaling Freire’s younger brother, featherweight champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

For the elder Freire, one big name is now on his list of wins. So far, he’s been unable to capture Bellator gold. But his argument just got stronger for another chance.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Fans invited to this week's Bellator 183 weigh-ins, Fan Fest (and chance for a sick dinner prize)

Bellator’s return to its home base in San Jose, Calif., goes down this week, and fans can get up close and personal with some MMA superstars.

Fans are invited to the weigh-ins for Bellator 183, as well as a Fan Fest and meet-and-greet opportunities. In addition, one lucky fan can win a chance to have dinner with three MMA standouts, four VIP tickets to the event and a Bellator prize pack.

Bellator 183 takes place Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The weigh-ins take place at SAP Center. Doors open to fans at 4 p.m. PT local time. At 4:30 p.m., weigh-ins for the Bellator Kickboxing 7 event take place, followed by the ceremonial weigh-ins for Bellator 183 at 5 p.m.

After that, a Fan Fest will take place Dave & Buster’s at 940 Great Mall Dr.
in Milpitas, Calif. On hand will be women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd, Dan Henderson, Mike Goldberg and John McCarthy from 8-11 p.m. ET. The event is free with an RSVP by Bellator Nation members, who can sign up at bellator.com/fanfest.

On Saturday, before the fights, there will be a meet-and-greet opportunity with legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in the concourse at SAP Center from 3:30-5:30 p.m. In addition, the first 5,000 fans into the fights will receive a limited edition Fedor bobblehead.

There’s another opportunity for one lucky winner, as well. Fans can register to win a dinner with Emelianenko, former lightweight champ Michael Chandler and women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano. The winner will get dinner, four VIP tickets to Bellator 183, and a Bellator prize pack. Fans can enter to win at Bellator183dinner.com.

In the Bellator 183 main event, former UFC and WEC lightweight champ Benson Henderson takes on Patricky Freire. In the co-feature, “TUF 10” winner and UFC veteran Roy Nelson makes his Bellator debut against Javy Alyala. Plus, Paul Daley takes on UFC veteran Lorenz Larkin in a welterweight featured bout.

For more on Bellator 183, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Considering both waiting for Bellator fights, Michael Chandler pitches bout to Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald this past week responded to a Twitter user to say it doesn’t look like he’ll be back in the Bellator cage until 2018.

It sounds like former lightweight champion Michael Chandler is facing a similar predicament. So Chandler has a solution: He and MacDonald might as well throw down.

Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) responded to MacDonald’s (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) original tweet by saying, “well…looks like we are in the same boat. I’ve got my dancing shoes on if you’re not busy in Nov/Dec.”

MacDonald replied and said his inactivity is not necessarily because no one wants to fight him, but because of the promotion’s “scheduling strategy.” But beyond that, he “would b happy 2fight asap.”

Earlier this year in London, Bellator President Scott Coker said MacDonald was a near certainty to headline the promotion’s return to Canada. MacDonald is a British Columbia native and longtime member of Tristar Gym in Montreal. But Coker said that return north of the border probably will not take place until 2018, which gives credence to MacDonald’s “scheduling strategy” comment.

Bellator has made seven trips to Canada, all to the province of Ontario. Five of those events have taken place at Casino Rama, about 90 minutes north of Toronto. And two have been in Windsor, which is a stone’s throw across the Detroit River from the U.S., so may as well be in the States.

The promotion’s most recent visit to Canada came more than three years ago for Bellator 119. Since then, Bellator has ramped up its international presence in a major way, including visits to Italy, England, Israel, Ireland and Northern Ireland – but Canada hasn’t worked its way back into the fold.

In May, MacDonald made his Bellator debut and ripped through Paul Daley with a second-round rear-naked choke. He had signed with the promotion in 2016 after years with the UFC.

Chandler lost his lightweight title to Brent Primus in June in a major upset at Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. A cageside doctor called off the fight due to a Chandler leg injury, giving Primus a TKO win and the belt.

A proposed fight with MacDonald, as unlikely as it seems, presumably would have Chandler moving up from lightweight to welterweight, at least temporarily.

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie