Michael Chandler: I Will Rematch Freire, ‘Just A Matter Of When’

Michael Chandler
Mike Straus for LowKick MMA
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ROSEMONT, Ill. – Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is not happy about his supposedly early stoppage loss to Patricio Pitbull Freire at Bellator 221.

Despite being knocked out in the first round of their main event fight last night at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., Chandler was in good spirits after the loss. When he was asked whether or not he felt the stoppage was early, Chandler responded candidly.

“I’m the fighter,” Chandler told LowkickMMA after the loss. “The promoters will promote. I think you’re going to see an overwhelming majority of people that are going to want to see a rematch. I think Bellator’s probably going to want to see a rematch. Of course I want the rematch.

“Whether you’re in the camp that thinks it was an early stoppage or not, I’m not going to sit up here and rant and rave about all of that. You could’ve had 10,000 different refs in there and had it go 10,000 different ways or on the other side. … Patricio ‘Pitbull’ will step back in the cage with me, it’s just a matter of when.”

Handled With Class

With the win, Freire becomes Bellator MMA’s second double champ, joining Ryan Bader as the only other fighter in promotion history to hold two titles simultaneously.

The lead-up to Bellator 221’s main event was contentious, to say the least. It was personal for Patricio because Chandler had already knocked out his older brother Patricky. The Bellator officials even had to book separate hotels for the fighters to stay at all week long to ensure that the main event did not take place sooner than Saturday night.

Still, after the fight, Chandler said Patricio handled the post-fight celebration respectfully enough.

“This is one of those moments – whether I’ve said what I’ve said about him or not, or he’s said what he’s said about me, the goodness of the human spirit was also shown in that moment,” Chandler said. “He came over, ticked off, ready to spit, cuss, point, ready to really kind of get after it.

Then all of a sudden you saw it hit him, and he came in like a sportsman. … He came in hot like he was about to say something like, ‘I told you so,’ in-your-face type of thing. But the human spirit took over right there, and he came up and said congrats, which is much easier to do when you win.”

Not Out

For his part, Chandler is handling the loss surprisingly well. The former two time Bellator lightweight champion believes this is just another opportunity for him to make history by becoming the first three-time champ in promotion history.

But Chandler wanted to make it clear that yes, he got clipped by Pitbull, but in no way was he ever out of the fight.

“Did I get hit? Yeah. Was I out? Absolutely not”