davidRickelsBellator MMA’s David “The Caveman” Rickels earned a lightweight title fight with champion Michael Chandler by winning the Bellator Season 8 Lightweight Tournament.  He defeated Lloyd Woodard, Jason Fischer and Saad Awad to get to the title fight, but an Independence Day firework accident nearly caused his championship aspirations to go up in flames.

“I nearly blew up my hand on the Fourth of July.  It didn’t affect my training at all.  Everything is great, but I had a big open wound on my hand, and I had to be really careful as far as not getting infected,” Rickels told MMAWeekly.com.  “I’ve done a really good job, surprisingly.  I’ve got a resilient body and I’m feeling great going into this fight.”

“I was lighting another one and the spark jumped over into the one in my hand and blew up.  It was a really weird deal.  It was a freak accident that could have cost me my damn hand let alone my title fight,” he explained.

At first, Rickels didn’t know how much damage the firework caused, but his first thoughts were that it wasn’t good.

“I said holy (expletive).  I was like, how am I going to explain this?  I didn’t know how bad it was because it was really dark and I couldn’t see anything.  I could feel my finger, so I was like, okay, that’s there at least,” he said. “I had a really nasty blister, open wound for about a week and a half or two weeks.  It healed up great and maybe I won’t be playing with fireworks this close to a fight next time.”

With the near disaster avoided, Rickels focused on Michael Chandler and winning the lightweight belt.

“I look at Michael, I see his skill strengths and I respect all of my opponents, what they’re good at.  But really, I think I’m just the kind of fighter that I kind of match-up well with almost anybody because I feel like I’m well-rounded to find an opening, find a way,” he said.

“That’s what I aim to do to Michael Chandler in this fight, hopefully land that right hand, hopefully land that elbow, set up that triangle, hit a sweep.  I just feel good.  I feel like I’m tough enough everywhere that I can give him a great fight, give the fans a great fight and pull off the victory, pull off the upset,” added the 24-year-old fighter.

Rickels has been with Bellator MMA since 2011.  He’s competed in two Bellator tournaments and has nine fights with the organization.  He’ll compete for his first Bellator title at Bellator 97 on July 31 against Chandler and winning the title would mean a great deal, but most of all it would give Rickels the recognition he believes he deserves.

“It would mean absolutely the world to me.  It would put me on that stage that I really believe I belong to.  I believe I’m an upper-tier fighter, top 25 in the world type of fighter, so I’d really like to be able to feel that too.  I think the Bellator Lightweight Championship shows that caliber of fighter,” he said.

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

Related News

Former champ Michael Chandler hopes Bellator creates own drug testing program

  • 24 days ago
  • 2 views

Michael Chandler sees big changes on the horizon when the UFC hands over random testing to USADA next month, as do a lot of people in the MMA industry.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Sans Bellator Belt, Michael Chandler Believes He’s Still One of the World’s Best

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

Despite losing his Bellator belt and sliding into a skid, Michael Chandler enters Bellator 138 believing he's still one of the best lightweights in the world. read news >>

As Chandler moves on, echoes

  • 14 days ago
  • 15 views

It’s difficult for former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler to say what exactly he remembers from his last fight, and what he pieced together from watching the video after the fact. File read news >>

Bellator 138's Derek Campos Plans on Breaking Michael Chandler's Will

  • 14 days ago
  • 2 views

Following an impressive knockout win over Estevan Payan in September, Derek Campos is looking to stay on the path towards the Bellator lightweight title when he takes on former champion Michael Chand read news >>

Bellator 138: Michael Chandler on the big training changes that have him feeling 18 again

  • 13 days ago
  • 2 views

Former Bellator lightweight champion, Michael Chandler discusses the changes he's made in his camp, what it's like to not be fighting in a title bout, whether he's considered changing camps and if he read news >>

Michael Chandler: 'I'm fighting within my strengths and not getting hung up on the negatives'

  • 11 days ago
  • 0 views

The former Bellator lightweight champion may have lost three straight title fights, but he's "not getting hung up on the negatives," and is looking forward to "exploiting" Derek Campos at Bellator 13 read news >>

Bellator 138 results: Michael Chandler overwhelms Derek Campos in first

  • 11 days ago
  • 7 views

ST. LOUIS – After three consecutive losses, Michael Chandler needed an impressive performance to prove he is still an elite lightweight. He got it.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 138: Michael Chandler def. Derek Campos video highlights

  • 11 days ago
  • 4 views

ST. LOUIS – With his career in a tailspin, former lightweight champion Michael Chandler scored a much-needed win and did it in impressive fashion after stopping Derek Campos on Friday at Bellator 138 read news >>

Michael Chandler: If I fought Will Brooks at Bellator 138, 'I would have won hands down'

  • 7 days ago
  • 0 views

Michael Chandler steamrolled Derek Campos at Bellator 138, finishing him by submission in the first round. If it were lightweight champion Will Brooks standing across the cage, Chandler doesn't think read news >>

Bellator releases eight fighters, including veterans Sokoudjou and Razak Al-Hassan

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

Bellator is in the process of paring down its roster again. As Bloody Elbow reported, the Viacom-owned promotion released eight fighters on Wednesday, including longtime veteran Rameau Sokoudjou. The read news >>