BELLATOR 85: CHANDLER VS. HAWN Date: January 17, 2013 Location: Irvine, California Venue: Bren Center Broadcast: Spike TV, Spike.com Bellator Fighting Championships Lightweight Title Bout Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler (-170) Profile: Michael Chandler (10-0) is the first man to beat Eddie Alvarez in the Bellator Fighting Championships. The 26-year-old Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner has looked nearly unstoppable in his short career. Using his NCAA Division I wrestling experience, the three-year MMA veteran has vaulted himself from relative unknown into the Top 10 lightweights, according to the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings. Training out of Alliance MMA in San Diego, Chandler has been able to quickly develop his overall MMA game to elite levels. While dangerous in all areas, he will always rely on his wrestling as his specialty above other skills. Bellator #1 Lightweight Contender Rick Hawn (+140) Profile: A dominant 35-year-old Olympic Judoka, Rick Hawn (14-1) has made a huge splash on MMA since he decided to enter the sport. After placing ninth in Judo at the 2004 Olympic games, Hawn pursued a career at welterweight and won his first 11 fights, going all the way to the finals of the Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament against Jay Hieron. It was against Hieron that he received his first career loss via split decision, so he then decided to drop the 15 pounds necessary to make the move to the lightweight division. Hawn made an equally impressive impact in the Bellator Season 6 Lightweight Tournament, steamrolling the competition and defeating all comers, including Lloyd Woodard in the semifinals and former welterweight Brent Weedman in the finals. Opening Bellator Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Chandler a slight-170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Hawn opened as a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140) according to the MMA odds. Few fighters have been as impressive as Chandler so early in their careers, as he is already considered a Top 10 lightweight fighter among all organizations. His last two fights in particular have been dominant finishes, especially his submission of Alvarez. Hawn is nine years older than Chandler and has also perfomed extremely well in Bellator with an outstanding 6-1 mark and his lone loss coming against Hieron. He is a crafty former Olympian who is very well-rounded and can draw from that past experience to give Chandler fits. Chandler should not underestimate Hawn based on his age, as he is also craving the lightweight title and appears to be just as hungry to wear the belt.