Will Brooks- The Only Man Who Beat Michael Chandler Twice

Published 05/15/2021, 6:46 AM EDT


Lightweight Michael Chandler is amongst one of the most highly touted free agent signings the UFC has seen in recent years. ‘Iron’ Mike came into the organization as a three-time Bellator lightweight champ, having earned his stripes in the promotion. Chiefly, many considered Chandler as the face of the organization, and barring his recent loss to Patricio Freire, there’s very little debate on the matter.

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What’s more, Michael Chandler is now on the cusp of elevating his stock even further with a UFC title shot. However, Chandler’s storied 27-fight career hasn’t been without its fair share of ups and downs. At one point, he was staring down the barrel of a 3-fight skid that was attributed to a lightweight fighter who’s faded into obscurity.

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Michael Chandler vs Will Brooks: A rivalry lost in time

While many prominent MMA rivalries stick out in the MMA landscape, Chandler vs Brooks in Bellator has fallen to the wayside. While Will Brooks is no longer a household name, he was once a terrifying force at lightweight. In fact, when he entered the UFC back in July 2016, he was 17-1 as a professional.

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Chiefly, Will Brooks holds two wins over Michael Chandler, the first of which came back at Bellator 120 for the interim lightweight title. The fight was a close contest, however, Brooks walked away with the split decision win over Chandler. The shocking upset left fans wondering if he could replicate his success and a rematch was booked.

Chandler and Brooks met again at Bellator 131 where Brooks managed to bookend the rivalry with a fourth-round TKO win. Brooks displayed a sense of urgency in the rematch, and it was clear that he came in with a chip on his shoulder. With 14 fights under Chandler’s belt, it went down as the first time he was stopped with strikes in his career.

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Michael Chandler has never lost twice to the same opponent in almost 30 fights, with his fight against Brooks being the exception. As is often said in MMA, it seemed as though Will Brooks had Michael Chandler’s number. As it stands, Brooks’ victories over Chandler remain the highlight moment of his professional MMA career.

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Darryl Pinto

1875 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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