Michael Chandler: I am not in this sport to win by decisions, I am in the sport to dominate

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler will look to get back on track in six days when he meets Derek Campos on the main card of Bellator 138.

Jason Floyd - The MMA Report
Jason Floyd – The MMA Report

Back in 2013, Chandler (12-3) was considered one of the best lightweight fighters in MMA. He had an undefeated record and made successful Bellator lightweight title defenses against Rick Hawn and David Rickels.

Since the victory over Rickels at Bellator 97 (682 days ago), he has dropped his last three fights and his last two fights have been defeats against current Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks. With the string of defeats for Chandler, has he made changes or is he just retooling his skills?

“I think a lot of it is continuing to retool and retool the skills,” Chandler told The MMA Report. “I think a lot of it is to put myself in the best situation possible to win. Make fighting easier and fight within my strengths. I made a couple of changes here and there. I can honestly say I am in probably the best shape, mentally and physically. It’s been good and it’s been a great training camp. Training camp that I have trained extremely hard, but not too hard to overtrain. I feel like everything is coming together. June 19 is going to be a great show for the fans.”

On Friday night, he will meet a fighter in Campos (15-4) that has won six of his last seven fights and is coming off a 31 second knockout win at Bellator 126 against Estevan Payan. Campos recently told The MMA Report that he is going to prove all of the doubters wrong and score the biggest victory of his career. In addition, he stated that he is going to win by knockout. When Chandler was asked to respond to that prediction, he stated “that is great” and he wants to win by finish as well since he is not in this sport to win by decision.

“That is great and that is the way you want to win in this sport,” he said. “You want to knock someone out or choke them out because that is what the fans want to see. That is what you train for. You do not train to pepper people. Just touch them here or there and just barely get by. You want to dominate and you want to win. He is the kind of guy that comes forward and fights hard. I respect that about him. I am kind of the same way. I come forward. I fight hard and I am looking for the finish. I am not in this sport to win by decisions. I am in the sport to dominate. We are kind of one the same page so let’s meet in the middle and put on a good show for the fans.”

If Chandler is able to get the victory over Campos at Bellator 138, should he be next in line for a title fight in the lightweight division? Ultimately, that decision is up to Bellator and he is going to do whatever it takes to get another shot at the title he once held.

“At the end of the day, we are subject to the promotion that we are signed with,” Chandler explained. “Who cares how many fights you are supposed to fight before the title. Who cares when you think you are supposed to get that title shot. It’s up to the promotion. You see it with every promotion. I think without a doubt that I am the best lightweight on the Bellator roster. I have full confidence that I am going to put together how many wins I need to get that title fight. But we will see if it’s 1, 2, or 5 fights. We will see what happens. All I know is that I am excited for June 19 and then keep this ball rolling.”