By Raphael Garcia
This past weekend was packed with mixed martial arts action. Not only did the UFC present two cards for fans, but Bellator also put on a show with Bellator 165. At the top of the card, Michael Chandler defended against UFC import and former lightweight champion Benson Henderson. After five rounds of action, Chandler retained his Bellator lightweight title and cemented himself in a compelling place in the sport.
Chandler has long been a question mark within the lightweight division. He’s spent much of time atop the 155-pound weight class in Bellator, but the questions about whether or not he could perform against the names on the UFC lightweight roster continued. This win doesn’t answer everything at once, but it gives him a marquee win over a man who’s defeated many of the top names within that “other” promotion.
But is that enough for the current champion? At 30 years old, Chandler is still young in age, but he’s run up a host of miles in his competitive life cycle. Even though he’s riding a four-fight win streak, many will remember the wealth of damage he took during his three-fight losing streak, where he dropped bouts to former UFC Champion Eddie Alvarez and current UFC competitor Will Brooks. During that time many questioned exactly what Chandler had left in the gas tank, but since then he’s turned around his career while reminding everyone that he’s the face of the Bellator organization.