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Friday, August 01, 2014

No Holds Barred: Michael Chandler 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Bellator MMA fighter and former Missouri wrestler and All-American Michael Chandler.

On November 19, 2011, Michael Chandler captured the Bellator lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in a classic MMA battle, which he won by fourth-round rear naked choke. He followed it up with three successful title defenses, all by KO/TKO or submission.

A rematch with Eddie Alvarez finally took place November 2, 2013, and although this fight was as dramatic and action-packed as their first encounter, the ending was different: After five rounds, Eddie Alvarez was awarded a split decision and recaptured the lightweight belt, albeit the decision was quite controversial in this close fight.

There was supposed to be a third fight between these two on May 17, 2014, to make this a trilogy, but Eddie Alvarez had to withdraw due to injury. Replacing him was Bellator lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks, and the Chandler-Brooks fight was now designated as being for an interim title, as the champion, Alvarez, could not fight.

Once again it went five action-packed rounds, once again in a close fight there was a controversial and split decision, and once again Michael Chandler was on the losing end of it.

Now he hopes to get a rematch, either with Eddie Alvarez or Will Brooks, and retake that belt.

We spoke with Michael Chandler Wednesday, July 30, at a Bellator media day at Dave and Buster's in New York.

"It just wasn't me that night," he said, referring to the fight with Will Brooks. "I just believe that I'm going to get another shot at that belt, whether it be Will Brooks, whether it be whoever it is. I really, really want to fight Will Brooks again. I think I went into that fight, mmm, not in the best situation to come out with the win, and I still thought I won the fight. I think the vast majority of people still think I won the fight. So at the end of the day, you can't leave it in the judges' hands because those kinds of things happen. For me, it's all about getting better and stepping back in that cage and putting on a show for the fans and yourself."

We also discussed when he might fight next, his continuing connections to the wrestling community, his transition from college wrestling to MMA, if he would ever like to compete in a real professional wrestling league should one be successfully established, and much more.

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The Liberty Bell Classic / King of Catch Wrestling Tournament, presented by the North American Catch Wrestling Association and Scientific Wrestling. In this tournament, you can only win by pin or submission, with no points. It all takes place Saturday, August 30, at Primal Gym, 231 Bakers Basin Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648. For more information, go to kingofcatchwrestling.com.

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