Michael Chandler does not come off as arrogant man.

But after submitting the favored Eddie Alvarez to win Bellator’s lightweight title in a “Fight of the Year” nominee last winter, Chandler isn’t exactly blushing, either.

“I feel like I can't be stopped right now,” Chandler recently told Sherdog.com. “After the way I beat Alvarez -- who was one of the top lightweights in the world -- in my last fight, I honestly almost feel indestructible right now. I am extremely confident.”

Chandler will put that confidence to the test when he squares off with Japanese veteran Akihiro Gono in the Bellator 67 main event tonight on MTV2. Though regarded as a heavy favorite to walk away from Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, with a victory, Chandler has kept his nose to the grindstone in preparation for his upcoming contest.

“I have trained harder than I ever have before for this fight with Gono, and I am in better shape than I have ever been in my MMA career,” said Chandler. “I am younger, and I am hungrier than Gono. I know he has a lot of experience, but that is going to be his only advantage over me.”

Gono, 37, holds 56 career bouts to his credit ahead of his meeting with Bellator’s lightweight ace. A veteran of both the defunct Pride Fighting Championships and the UFC, Gono began his career in 1994. Though previously an active competitor, Gono will do battle for just the second time in the last 20 months when he faces Chandler. The Tokyo native holds 32 career wins under his belt and has been finished eight times out of 17 professional defeats.

If Chandler has his way, however, Gono will experience his ninth loss by knockout or submission in short order.

“I know I should be able to finish Gono. I am going to wear him down, and I will definitely finish him at some point. Over the course of 15 minutes, I am going break him down and make him give up,” said Chandler. “In my last fight with Alvarez, I was able to land a lot of punches. [I dropped] him twice, and I almost finished him on the feet, so I definitely feel comfortable that I can put a lot of leather on Gono's face.”

Aside from the physical advantages Chandler believes he will hold over his opponent, the champion says he will compete on Friday night with some newfound motivation due to his recent charity work for Friends of Kids with Cancer.

“I met a [nine year-old] kid named Robbie Chandler, [who had battled] bone cancer since he was two. I showed him my belt, gave him a poster, and we watched the Alvarez fight on an iPad. Being able to put a smile on his face was very fulfilling for me,” said Chandler. “A couple of weeks later, I heard that he had passed away, and that had a really big impact on me. It made me decide that I want to make a difference with my position in life.

“[Robbie had] only two years of his life that he wasn't in pain. [Meeting him] just made me realize how blessed I am to be able to do what I love,” Chandler continued. “I feel like if I am not giving back for what God has given to me, then I am not serving my purpose here on this earth.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Benson Henderson Will Get His Second Bellator Title Shot in November

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

After failing to win the Bellator welterweight title, former UFC champion Benson Henderson will get his second crack at a Bellator belt in November. read news >>

Bellator Continues Global Expansion with Championship Fight in Israel

  • 21 days ago
  • 10 views

Bellator continues its global expansion under the leadership of company president Scott Coker with a November event in Israel. read news >>

Veta Arteaga Knows What She Signed Up for at Bellator 161 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 17 views

Undefeated flyweight Veta Arteaga knows what she signed up for at Bellator 161, and she's ready. read news >>

Derek Campos Expecting Explosive Fight with Djamil Chan at Bellator 161 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 5 views

Derek Campos steps into a Bellator 161 lightweight bout against Djamil Chan on Friday, in what could very well end up being a title elimination bout. read news >>

Did Bellator Find Its Own Paige VanZant in Russian Flyweight Anastasia Yankova?

  • 15 days ago
  • 70 views

Anastasia Yankova is very pretty. It feels disingenuous to start anywhere else. It's always been a part of her story, even back to her amateur days at a tournament where no one would cheer for her. S read news >>

Tony Johnson Believes a Win Over Cheick Kongo Paves Way to Bellator Title Shot | MMAWeekly.com

  • 14 days ago
  • 9 views

Tony Johnson has worked his way into a heavyweight main event fight against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 161 on Friday. Is it his route to the title? read news >>

Mark Dickman Says He's a 'Step Above' Bellator 161 Opponent Daniel Pineda | MMAWeekly.com

  • 13 days ago
  • 6 views

Mark Dickman will make his return at Bellator 161 on Friday in Texas to take on local veteran Daniel Pineda in a preliminary card 145-pound bout. read news >>

Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson Weigh-in Video and Results | MMAWeekly.com

  • 13 days ago
  • 24 views

The Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson weigh-in is slated for Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. Watch it streaming live on MMAWeekly.com. read news >>

Chael Sonnen to Bellator: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

  • 12 days ago
  • 167 views

Veteran MMA fighter Chael Sonnen has left UFC and signed a multiyear deal with Bellator, Damon Martin of Fox Sports reported Thursday. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed Martin's report. The 39-y read news >>

Chael Sonnen Leaves UFC, Signs with Bellator | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 39 views

Chael Sonnen has officially ended his retirement from MMA competition. But he's not coming back to the UFC. read news >>