Michael Chandler kicked off 2018 in winning fashion at Bellator 192.
Bellator 192 went down live from The Forum in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday. The card aired live on the newly launched Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV). In action on the main card was former lightweight champion and promotional star Michael Chandler. Chandler, who suffered a heartbreaking TKO injury loss of his title to Brent Primus at Bellator NYC last June, was facing the dangerous Goiti Yamauchi on the night.
After an early feeling out period with the pair circling, this one went to the ground. With Chandler working from within Yamauchi’s guard, the former champion controlled his opponent. Crucially, he was able to keep Yamauchi off the cage wall, preventing him from wall walking up. This tight grappling affair prevented Chandler from scoring much in the way of damage, however. With one overhook on the bottom, Goiti Yamauchi was able to fend Michael Chandler off — but only for a while. By the end of the sequence, Yamauchi was bloodied.
Goiti Yamauchi utilized his length early in the second, and connected with a head kick right on the chin of Chandler! A question mark kick, to be specific. Chandler was wobbled, but did not go down. Goiti smelled blood, and went in for the kill, but tough as nails, Chandler was ready for him. He was able to fend Yamauchi off, despite still being under the effects of the massive kick earlier. That chain of events forced Chandler to shoot for the takedown, which he secured. He’d control for what remained of the second, eventually working in some heavy ground and pound towards the end of round two.
Round three felt as if both men were turning it up a bit early. Chandler went to the body with a kick. Yamauchi continued to pose a threat with his Machida-like style. After an inadvertent eye poke by Chandler paused the action, Yamauchi got right back to work with another kick. Chandler then charged in, forcing Yamauchi on his heels to the cage wall, and essentially imposed his will to secure a takedown that wasn’t pretty, but was effective. Again, Chandler went to work from within his opponent’s guard, posturing up to drop elbows. Chandler was soon loading up, displaying big power and connecting again and again on a bloodied Yamauchi. He’d survive, however, but in the end, the judges were clear, siding with Michael Chandler.
Michael Chandler def. Goiti Yamauchi by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)