Michael Chandler – Every Achievement From His Amateur Wrestling To His Professional MMA Career

Published 05/05/2021, 10:00 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Michael Chandler battles Dan Hooker during the UFC 257 event at UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Michael Chandler may not be the GOAT, but he is for sure one of the best in the history of the Bellator lightweight division. Michael Chandler wants to do the same thing in the UFC that he did in Bellator.

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‘Iron’ will clash against Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 262. Ahead of the fight, let’s look at Michael Chandler’s records, stats, championships, and accomplishments. 

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Michael Chandler battles Dan Hooker during the UFC 257 event at UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Michael Chandler – amateur wrestling career

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Chandler started his combat sports career as a wrestler. ‘Iron’ has competed in several amateur wrestling tournaments. From his high school to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), Chandler has won and lost against many elite wrestlers.

Chandler is the Missouri State High School Activities Association, High School State Championship Runner-up in 2004. He is also the two-time Big 12 Conference Championship Runner-up in 2008 and 2009. 

Chandler’s achievements in NCAA include him being the 2009 NCAA Championships fifth place holder in the 157lbs division. Chandler, having a wrestling background, merely explains the ground control of his professional MMA fights. 

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Records, stats, championships, and accomplishments

‘Iron’ has an overall professional MMA record of 22-5-0 (W-L-D). Out of his 22 victories, ten victories came via T/KO, and seven came via submission.

Chandler started his professional MMA career by fighting in an MMA promotion named First Blood. His professional debut fight was against Kyle Swadley on August 8, 2009. It only took him 3:30 minutes of the first round to win this fight via TKO.

After his debut, Chandler had two fights in MMA promotion ‘Strikeforce’, and he won both via finishes. One came via TKO against Richard Bouphanouvong. The second one only took 59 seconds for Chandler to win the bout via submission (rear-naked choke) against Sal Woods.

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Bellator Fighting Championship

Chandler was 3-0 in his professional MMA career before he signed up with Bellator. He had a total no. of 23 fights in Bellator. He won 18 of them and lost five. That makes his Bellator record 18-5. Out of his 18 victories, Chandler won 13 fights via finishes. A total no. of seven T/KO victories and six submission victories. Also, 10 of those finishes came in the first round.

After a unanimous decision victory over Patricky Freire at Bellator 44, Chandler won the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament. He then clashed against Eddie Alvarez for the Bellator Lightweight World Championship at Bellator 58. ‘Iron’ defeated Alvarez via submission (rear-naked choke) in the fourth round and claimed the Bellator Lightweight World Championship.

After becoming the Bellator Lightweight World Champion, Chandler lost his title in a rematch against Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 106. He then clashed in a rematch against Patricky Freire at Bellator 157 and claimed the title once again. 

Chandler then lost the title once again to Brent Primus at Bellator NYC on June 24, 2017. He then clashed for the title in a rematch against Brent Primus at Bellator 212 and avenged his loss. ‘Iron’ then became a three-time Bellator Lightweight World Champion.

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Chandler’s achievements and records in Bellator

‘Iron’ had a very successful MMA career in Bellator. He has achieved a lot while he fought for Bellator, and he holds several records. 

As already mentioned above, Chandler’s achievements in Bellator include him being a three-time Bellator Lightweight World Champion and Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Championship winner. 

Here’s a list of Chandler’s records in Bellator:

  • Most submission victories in the Bellator Lightweight division (6).
  • Tied (with David Rickels) for most fights in Bellator history (23). 
  • Holds record for most stoppage wins in Bellator MMA history (13).
  • Most stoppage wins in Bellator Lightweight division (10). 
  • Chandler also holds record for most title reigns in Bellator MMA history (3).
  • Most title bouts in Bellator MMA history (11).
  • Most wins in Bellator Lightweight division history (15).
  • Tied (with Patrício Freire) for most wins in Bellator MMA history (18).
  • Tied (with Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Neiman Gracie) for second-most submission wins in Bellator MMA history (6). 
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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career

Chandler has only had one fight in UFC to this date. ‘Iron’ made his UFC debut against Dan Hooker at UFC 257. It only took him 2:30 minutes of the first round to win this fight via TKO. That makes his UFC record of 1-0.

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Chandler was also awarded the ‘Performance of the Night’ Bonus for his outstanding performance against Dan Hooker. Now, ‘Iron’ will clash against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 for the vacant UFC lightweight title.

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Arman Khan

80 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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