Almost ten years after his run with the promotion kicked off, Chandler is set to test the open market after Bellator 243. Chandler has widely been considered one of the better lightweights in the world regardless of where he fights.
Chandler has been very vocal about his feelings regarding Bellator. The promotion he’s called home for 22 of his 25 fights has treated him very well. He’s never become a free agent so this will be a new experience for him.
â€œI never actually became a free agent,â€ Chandler said to MMA Junkie on Wednesday. â€œIt was reported wrong in the media. Iâ€™ve never been a free agent. This will be the first time in my career Iâ€™ll be a free agent.â€
Will Chandler leave Bellator?
This is a question that is on everyone’s mind. While Chandler isn’t the current lightweight champion in Bellator, there is no questioning his talent and skill. If he wins tomorrow night, there are going to be calls coming his way.
â€œIâ€™m not really worried about whatever happens after this fight,â€ Chandler said. â€œThis a big fight for me and an important fight for me. Iâ€™m a free agent after this fight. As soon as I get done with this, weâ€™ll speak to Bellator.”
“Iâ€™d be just happy as to already have signed a new deal with Bellator and do a ten fight deal…I also am not afraid to take a chance on this fight and take a gamble on myself…I know thereâ€™s not a day that goes by where I donâ€™t get reached out to by thousands and thousands of people about the exciting matchups,” Chandler said.
Of course, many of those fans are probably referring to the matchups that could come under the UFC banner. The UFC’s lightweight division is stacked with the elite of the elite.
I believe that Bellator will try to go all out to keep Chandler since he’s been a poster boy for the promotion. However, as a competitor, the draw of the UFC will be strong. If he really wants to test himself, there’s no better proving ground.
The competition is much greater in the UFC than it is in Bellator. Bellator has great fighters don’t get me wrong, but the UFC’s lightweight division is on another level. It’ll be interesting to see where Chandler ends up after tomorrow night.