Michael Chandler has released a statement following his Bellator 221 defeat.

Chandler was defeated this past weekend (Sat. May 11, 2019) by Patricio Freire in the main event of the night. After falling via TKO in the opening minute, Chandler lost his 155-pound title. It was only the second time in his career that Chandler was finished via strikes, the first coming against Will Brooks in 2014.

Now, nearly a week removed from the defeat, Chandler has taken to Instagram to issue a lengthy statement on the loss. Check out what he had to say below:

“This sport has never been about the wins and the losses for me. I realize that is a very easy thing to say after you have lost a fight. I refuse to say it doesn’t sting. I refuse to say I haven’t shed a tear or two over it. I’m not ashamed to say it hurts. But this sport is as merciless and unforgiving as it is beautiful and exhilarating.

We can’t enjoy the spoils of the good without also accepting the pains of the bad. When I woke up Sunday morning I woke up a winner for more reasons than I can count. In the last few days I’ve spent quality time with my family and in a weird way this loss and the embarrassment that accompanies it has made me love them and myself deeper.

It has made me love the fans deeper. It has made me love this sport deeper. Getting knocked down and embarrassed for the whole world to see is never easy. The naysayers have been and will continue to come out of the woodwork. The constant struggle to block out the negativity and focus only on the good has been a mountainous task, but a battle I am winning.

I relish in the notion that this journey is far from over and I am certain that the best is yet to come. Picture me sitting somewhere out there right now…with a confident smirk on my face because I secretly love my back against the wall. I secretly love being the hunter and not the hunted.

I thrive in an environment where I have nothing to lose. You thought you’ve seen hard work before? You haven’t seen anything yet. I’m plotting… See you at the top!”

View this post on Instagram

This sport has never been about the wins and the losses for me. – I realize that is a very easy thing to say after you have lost a fight. – I refuse to say it doesn’t sting. I refuse to say I haven’t shed a tear or two over it. I’m not ashamed to say it hurts. – But this sport is as merciless and unforgiving as it is beautiful and exhilarating. – We can’t enjoy the spoils of the good without also accepting the pains of the bad. – When I woke up Sunday morning I woke up a winner for more reasons than I can count. – In the last few days I’ve spent quality time with my family and in a weird way this loss and the embarrassment that accompanies it has made me love them and myself deeper. It has made me love the fans deeper. It has made me love this sport deeper. – Getting knocked down and embarrassed for the whole world to see is never easy. The naysayers have been and will continue to come out of the woodwork. The constant struggle to block out the negativity and focus only on the good has been a mountainous task, but a battle I am winning. – I relish in the notion that this journey is far from over and I am certain that the best is yet to come. – Picture me sitting somewhere out there right now…with a confident smirk on my face because I secretly love my back against the wall. I secretly love being the hunter and not the hunted. I thrive in an environment where I have nothing to lose. – You thought you’ve seen hard work before? You haven’t seen anything yet. – I’m plotting… – See you at the top! – #successnotperfection #mma #ironmichael – ????: @lucasnoonan

A post shared by Michael Chandler (@mikechandlermma) on

Has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past several years. Also covers professional wrestling for WrestleZone and EWrestlingNews, and the Houston Texans for USA Today's Texans Wire.