“Iron” Gets Multi-Year Extension with Bellator
At 29 years old, St. Louis’ “Iron” Michael Chandler is already a self-admitted Bellator “O.G.” that has been with the company since its “dark days”, he said on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. Now that the organization is flourishing more under the leadership of former Strikeforce President Scott Coker, it looks like Chandler will be what Derek Jeter was to the New York Yankees. When it comes to Bellator, he’s here to stay.
“I’m ecstatic to continue my career with Scott Coker and Bellator MMA,” Chandler said in a release. “It’s obvious that good things are continuing to happen for this promotion and it’s correlating to big opportunities for myself as well. I can’t wait to get back in action and test myself against some of these new guys coming in and move back up through the ranks. As always, my eyes are on that belt, and it will be back around my waist soon.” Since making his Bellator debut as an undefeated veteran of the now-defunct Strikeforce (3-0) at Bellator 31 under the Bjorn Rebney regime, Chandler has jumped to 14 victories with just three defeats (two by decision) in five years with the company. Oh and in case you were unaware, Chandler (a proven finisher with just two wins by scoring to his credit) spent roughly two years as Lightweight champion until losing in a rematch against the man from which he took the title, UFC’s Eddie Alvarez. “Iron’s” fight losing streak ended with consecutive finishes by both submission and TKO over Derek Campos and David Rickels, both in St. Louis.As far as a return date, Chandler simply announced in the Skype call with Helwani--“Soon.” "Michael Chandler is synonymous with our brand and doubles as an incredibly talented and exciting mixed martial artist," Coker told the media. "Not every fighter or free agent aligns with our future plans, but when looking at Chandler's resume, inking him to a long-term extension was a no-brainer. I look forward to getting him back in action as soon as possible." The agreement was “multi-year, multi-fight”, but specifics have not been released at this time. Bellator celebrates Bellator 150 in neighboring Kansas on February 26 on Spike.