Michael Chandler has moved past the first fight with Will Brooks

Back in May, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler was a 10 to 1 favorite against Will Brooks at Bellator 120 and would suffer his second straight close decision defeat.Will Brooks vs Michael Chandler

Two of the three judges scored the fight for Brooks and a majority of the MMA media either scored the fight a draw or for Chandler.

Since their initial meeting, the fighters have exchanged tweets and they will now settle their score in the co-main event of Bellator 131 in seven days as they will once again face each other with a title on the line.

By the time Chandler and Brooks step into the cage next Saturday night at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, it will be nearly six months since they last competed. Chandler admitted that this has been the best training camp of his career and that he has moved past the first fight.

“I have pretty much moved past it,” Chandler told TheMMAReport.com. “I did watch the highlights the other day and see if there was any new little things I could look at to prepare for. Myself, I am a way different — way better fighter than the last time we fought. For me, its all continuing on this path I am on.”

Chandler (12-2) feels that he has become a better fighter overall and found a new love for mixed martial arts following the defeat to Brooks in May.

“I think I am better and different fighter all around,” he said. “Mentally, physically, and spiritually. I found a new found love for this sport when it was find of in jeopardy when it was kind of taken away from me. When an injury literally diminished my abilities to be able to train and even compete at a high level.”

“I feel better than I ever have been. I feel 18 years old again. My body has changed physically, changing up my strength and conditioning, lengthening muscles that need to be lengthened. Fixing the deficiencies that I had over the last couple of years and really did not realized until they finally came all to a culmination in the last training camp. I am a better man because of it.”

Over the past couple of month, Brooks has questioned the character of Chandler on social media. For the most part, Chandler decided to keep quiet and not engage with Brooks on that platform. Instead of engaging with him on social media, he will do that next Saturday night at Bellator 131.

“Since the beginning of time, men don’t talk it out, men don’t talk about it, they be about it,” he said. “That is really what it boils down to it. He can try to lure me into a war of words on Twitter, which is quiet frankly is probably his way of trying to get Twitter followers and that kind of stuff. I stay quiet, brush it off, and take it for what it’s worth and that is just talk.”

“Talk is really cheap in this sport. In a lot of ways, it will get you where you want to go but it will not win you fights and it will not pick you up when you are in deep waters and when you got a man on top of you and beating the crap out of you. That is where I plan on being a week from now and I am excited to win.”

A win over Brooks would make Chandler a two-time Bellator champion. He would join Eddie Alvarez, Pat Curran, and Joe Warren as the only fighters in Bellator history to be a two-time champion. Would winning this title have more meaning than the first time he won the title?

“When you are 23-24 years-old and just two years into the sport, you get the opportunity to fight a top five guy in the world and on paper you are out of your league, on paper you not supposed to win, and on paper he is supposed to beat you pretty bad but you go out there and win, that is a great thing,” Chandler said. “On the other side of it, when you have gone through some set backs and you have had some injuries and you have some some issues and those kind of things and you have really grown as a man.”

“People love to see a redemption story. People love to see a comeback and I think this one will be — it’s hard to think back to 2011 when I won that title and think about that title is going to be as sweet as this one here in a couple of days. It’s tough, they are bout sweet in their own regard. This one is going to be real sweet because it’s present day and its a compilation of all the hard work put into effect. I am excited to do it. It will definitely be a big one and I think this one will be bigger.”