Michael Chandler to Defend Lightweight Title Against Dave Jansen in Bellator 96 Headliner


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Michael Chandler will defend his Bellator MMA lightweight championship against Season 7 tournament winner Dave Jansen in the main event of Bellator 96.

Bellator officials announced the booking Wednesday, also revealing that Muhammed Lawal will face Seth Petruzelli while Renato Sobral collides with Jacob Noe to open the Summer Series light heavyweight tournament. Bellator 96 takes place June 19 at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla., and the evening’s main card airs live on Spike TV. Welterweight talent War Machine will also see action that night, as the UFC alum takes on Blas Avena.

Chandler, 27, has never lost in nearly four years as a pro. The lightweight ace wrested Bellator’s lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in 2011 and defended it for the first time this past January, dominating Rick Hawn en route to a second-round submission victory. Chandler, 27, has gone the distance just twice in 11 pro outings, earning five submissions and four knockouts along the way.

Jansen, 33, has won six straight fights heading into his title shot. The World Extreme Cagefighting veteran joined Bellator in 2011 and topped Magomed Saadulaev and Ricardo Tirloni to advance in the Season 7 tournament before seeing his finals showdown with Marcin Held postponed three months when the 20-year-old Held was not allowed to compete at Bellator 84 due to his age. When the two did meet this past March, Jansen outlasted the Polish prospect, taking a unanimous verdict from Held at Bellator 93.

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