Michael Chandler was able to overcome the power of Brandon Girtz early on, and choked his opponent out within a round at Bellator 197.
Sometimes, you don’t always get the main event you deserve. Friday night in St. Charles, MO, Michael Chandler certainly didn’t get the one he wanted. His anticipated dance partner, Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus, was forced off the card short notice due to injury. That dashed any hopes Chandler had of quickly regaining the title he lost to Primus last year after suffering a leg injury early in their bout at Bellator NYC.
To be fair, Chandler was never high on rematching Primus, who he sees as an unworthy champion. Yet that was the main event agreed to.
Istead, Chandler found himself paired up with Brandon Girtz, a take no prisoners, never back down sort of fighter who was more than happy to step in on short notice. The bad news, no title on the line. The good news, an explosive combination likely to result in fireworks.
Early in round one, Chandler ate a low blow, but more concerning, he appeared to twist his ankle on a step backward. Shades of Bellator NYC, where an injured leg cost him his Bellator lightweight championship. With that in mind, Chandler took a bit of time to recover; back underway, Girtz went right after his opponent, sending Chandler rolling back head over heels. He recovered, but another pause in the action came when Chandler inadvertently poked his opponent’s eye. Once underway again, Girtz allowed Chandler to back him up and stand in front of him. However, Girtz threw some serious power, and had more on his shots, and more of them. Chandler fell back on his wrestling; Girtz fought off one takedown attempt, but a second with just over ninety seconds remaining in the first round saw Chandler get in position for an arm triangle choke. Jumping across his opponent, Chandler had the choke in tight. Girtz refused to tap, instead going out, and Michael Chandler had the submission win!
Michael Chandler def. Brandon Girtz by technical submission (arm triangle choke), Round 1, 4:00