Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler made his first lightweight title defense at Bellator 85 at the beginning of the year and is looking to return to the Bellator cage during the upcoming Summer Series.
Chandler was a guest on “The MMA Report Live” on Monday and stated he would prefer to return during the Summer Series instead of the fall season.
“Definitely sooner than later, definitely not the fall,” Chandler told TheMMAReport.com. “I guess the Summer Series is the next run we have. I would definitely say Summer Series in June or July.”
There are currently two lightweight tournament champions waiting for title shots, which are season seven winner Dave Jansen and season eight winner David Rickels. Both Jansen and Rickels won their tournament finals last month and Bellator has not told Chandler who he will defend his title against next.
Jansen would appear likely to get the next title shot, which Chandler believes that he would be next in line for a chance at his title.
“The natural progression was Jansen won the tournament first, so I would imagine he has the first shot. I have not heard much. I am going to be ready to go into camp whenever and fight whoever, wherever because that is my job. I want to go out there and continue show the MMA world what I am about, which is hard work and making improvements.”
Chandler admitted that he did not watch Jansen’s tournament final against Marcin Held, which Jansen won by unanimous decision at Bellator 93 last month. Chandler defeated Held in the quarterfinals of the season four lightweight tournament and knows the type of fight Jansen was in when it comes to defending the leg locks of Held.
“I didn’t watch it. I know that he is a wrestler and that he goes hard. To be able to get out of Marcin Held’s leg locks is definitely not easy since I know he has submitted a lot of people with them and he tore my leg up with a knee bar.”
Chandler and Jansen both come from a wrestling background. He knows that stopping Jansen will not be an easy task, but his goal will be to get a stoppage victory over the season seven tournament winner.
“I know that Dave Jansen has a wrestling background, he is a hard nose guy and he is not going to be easy to finish but my goal is to go out there and get a finish.”