Michael Chandler Would “Love” to Retire With Bellator, But Notes Fighting is a “Business
By FCF Staff
Michael Chandler has been fighting under Bellator’s banner for nearly ten years, and has become one of the promotion’s most respected fighters. But, with free agency looming, the former lightweight champ says he needs to consider his financial future.
Chandler (20-5) currently has one fight left on his Bellator deal. Originally, he was scheduled to fight Benson Henderson, June 6th, before the card was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently Chandler spoke with MMA Junkie, and while discussing his plan to test the free agency waters, the 34-year-old said this.
“I’ve been very vocal about it: I would love to retire a Bellator fighter,” Chandler said. “I would love to be the guy who started with the organization in 2010 and retired from the organization however many years from now. But if that’s not in the cards, that’s not in the cards. This is a business, and I have my people to take care of, and that’s my wife and my son. We’ll make the best decision possible, but there’s no doubt there’s a lot of buzz out here when it comes to fantasy matchups and all that kind of stuff. So I just let the fans talk and let my fighting do the talking inside of the cage.”
Bellator President Scott Coker recently praised Chandler for what he’s achieved. But, Coker noted that the promotion will need to review revenue numbers and ratings tied to Chandler, before making an offer.
While responding to Coker’s comments, Chandler stated:
“I’m always one of the marque guys on the cards,” Chandler said. “I do put butts in seats, I do have a large stable of deep-seated fanbase and that looks at me somewhat of that underground fighter – that guy that people watch specifically because they know I do it for the love of the game. They know I do it because I love inflicting harm on people, I love going out there and getting into a fist-fight. And (Coker) made his comments, and I stand by my worth.
“I know I go out there and put on a great show, and he’s the promoter and they’re the promotion; it’s his job to promote, so that goes both ways. I can’t be held accountable for numbers and buys on seats 100 percent, solely on my back…”
Chandler is coming off a first-round, knockout win over Sydney Outlaw in December and is 4-1 in his last 5 bouts.