MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Michael Chandler’s Next Bout Set

Michael ChandlerFormer Bellator champion Michael Chandler looked much the part of his former self when he rebounded from three consecutive losses to batter Derek Campos back in June. He has a golden opportunity to build off that momentum moving forward, as his next bout will be featured on Bellator 145 against David Rickels. The booking is a bit curious, given the fact that Chandler mauled Rickels in just 44 seconds while defending his lightweight title back in 2013, but sometimes Bellator simply doesn’t have the depth to avoid situations like this. Chandler will almost certainly defeat Rickels again, and will look impressive in doing so, which could lead to a third match between himself and Will Brooks despite his 0-2 mark against the current champion. Speaking of Brooks, he will also be competing at Bellator 145, as he defends that 155lb belt against submission ace Marcin Held. The card also features a featherweight title bout between Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire and Daniel Straus (the third time those two have met). On paper Bellator 145 looks like one of the best cards of the year from the promotion, and it’s interesting that all of the talent at the top of the card was grown under Bjorn Rebney’s watch with the promotion. I’ve been far more critical of Scott Coker’s tenure atop Bellator than most, but this is the perfect example of what Bellator cards could look like, but instead we’ve gotten weird kickboxing crossovers and main events with well past-their-prime competitors. Hopefully this, and the subpar ratings for Dynamite!, are signs that Bellator will be moving in a more fight-based direction moving forward, but that’s probably not the case either. Perhaps it was coincidence that the promotion’s best, most exciting fighters landed on the card together, or perhaps it was a conscious decision to put all of the “old” Bellator guys together on a card, but either way, this is the type of Bellator event I’ll actually look forward to. The only other real news from the past 24 hours was a fight getting scratched from this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 75. Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto first had Matt Hobar drop out against him, and then replacement Alan Yamaniha fell out of the bout as well just days later. As a result, ‘Kid’ has been scrapped from the card, which is a shame since we have no idea how many more times we’ll have a chance to watch him compete.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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