Dave Jansen On Facing Bellator Lightweight Champ Michael Chandler: “It’s Not Going To Be An Easy Fight For Him By Any Means”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Now that Dave Jansen has added a Bellator tourney win to his resume, the lightweight has turned his attention to Michael Chandler and trying to hand the champion a loss. Although Jansen understands that Chandler is a consensus top ten lightweight for good reason, and one of Bellator’s top stars as a result, the rugged vet is confident he can end the fighter’s undefeated run.
“Yeah, Chandler is definitely hyped and much deserved, but at the same time I feel like I’m a tough match for him,” Jansen said on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently. “It’s not going to be an easy fight for him by any means.”
Despite the fact Jansen has raised his profile and standing considerably during his time with Bellator, he understands that Chandler will be the favorite when the two meet later this year.
“I don’t mind being the underdog by any means,” said Jansen. “It takes a little pressure off; I can just go out there and go for broke.”
While Jansen may not have the same standing throughout MMA as Chandler, who has worked his way up the lightweight rankings with notable wins over fighters like Eddie Alvarez and Rick Hawn, the former has just two defeats on his record. The only men to defeat Jansen to date are UFC vets Ricardo Lamas and Kamal Shalorus, who handed him decision losses while he competed for the WEC.
“I’ve never been finished, and he’s kind of a guy, although he’s looked really explosive and quick to pull the trigger recently…I’m hard to put away,” noted the 33 year-old Jansen, who scored victories over Magomed Saadulaev, Ricardo Tirloni and most recently Marcin Held to entrench a bout with Chandler. “I’m really looking forward to a five round fight, where with my fight with Marcin Held I wish I had two more rounds; I’m confident I could have got a finish in that fight.”
“I’m a fighter who gets stronger as the rounds go on typically,” Jansen added. “I think that’s going to pose an interesting situation for Michael Chandler, to face the kind of fighter that I am.”
While Jansen does not have the same wrestling credentials as the former NCAA Division 1 competitor, the Oregon fighter believes his grappling skills will present Chandler a challenge.
“On paper a lot of people will just count out my wrestling, as far as, I didn’t do anything in college,” said Jansen. “As far as peaking, it was really my junior year in highschool that I won a state title, went undefeated that year, and sophomore and senior year I did well as well.”
“We have the same pedigree,” added Jansen. “Wrestling’s no fun, it takes a certain type of human to do it, just grit and determination. In that respect we’re very similar.”
And in terms of when Jansen would like to fight Chandler, considering he just defeated Held on March 21st.
“I haven’t heard anything yet, but my preference is not within the next two months or anything,” Jansen noted. “I need a little time to prepare for Michael differently than how I prepared for Held. I would say three to four months is optimal…I just need a week off right now to regroup and feel like a human again.”