Chandler Wants To Avoid A Fluke Status
Posted on 04 May 2012
by MMAScoops.com Staff
Michael Chandler told MMA Junkie that he doesn't plan to start losing tonight in a non-title match against Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67 at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada.
The card will air on MTV2 (prelims on Spike.com) and features a season six welterweight tournament semifinal between Ben Saunders and Bryan Baker. Chandler is a four-time NCAA qualifier and All-American during a standout wrestling career at the University of Missouri, and currently undefeated in MMA. But he did lose in collegiate wrestling 40 times.
Meanwhile, Gono has lost five of his past eight fights and has fought names like Dan Henderson, Gegard Mousasi, Chael Sonnen and Hector Lombard.This will be his first fight in Norht America since losing to Jon Fitch by decision at UFC 94 in January 2009. He lost to Daisuke Nakamura in February in Tokyo by decision.
On his three year winning streak: "No losses. Those aren't good. I've lost too many times in my life. I'm done with that stuff."
On approaching the fight as if the title was on the line: "I've actually gone harder and worked more intense on this fight than any I have in my whole life. I know it may sound a little crazy, but this is my most intense camp, my best camp. I feel like I'm in the best shape of my fighting life. I'm not in as good as shape as I was in wrestling. I've always said I'm never going to be in the best shape of my life because I've already been that in college wrestling. But as far as my fighting career goes, this is the best shape I've ever been. It's the most prepared I've ever been."
On the notoriety of his opponent: "I never watched a lot of MMA stuff, so I didn't know a lot of names that people threw at me. But I know he's been around a long time. A lot of the solid MMA fans who have watched the sport for a long time know who he is. It will be a good opportunity. I'm excited to get in there and fight a veteran like him. Actually I'm excited to fight anybody I just want to get back in the cage. It's been too long."
On staying active after beating Eddie Alvarez for the title at Bellator 58: "I've got to stay active. I'm young, healthy and hungry. It wouldn't have been good for me to have one fight this year. If I didn't take this fight, I would have waited until this tournament ended, and they would need a couple months to recover, and it wouldn't have been until the fall probably. That would be a really, really long time to be sitting on the shelf, especially at my age with my inexperience."
On if Eddie Alvarez will leave Bellator: "I don't care whether he stays or goes. He's definitely a tough opponent, and fighting him again is something people want to see, something I'm definitely not opposed to. If it has to happen, it happens. But you have to show him the money because that's his No. 1 priority, which it should be because he has a family to support. For me I want to fight the best guys in the world. My goal is to be the No. 1 fighter in the world."
On training with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and his Alliance MMA team: "My boxing coach, Gil Martinez, said these guys are going to be in town, so 'Let's get some work with them,'" Chandler said. "I started working with them and kind of worked out. I've built a solid relationship with them, and no matter what I'm going to be doing some training with them in the future. It's one of the perks of living in Vegas. It's the fight capital of the world, and people are always coming here. I haven't made any change in camp (with Xtreme Couture) or anything. (I'm) hust taking the opportunity that's been given to me."
On tonight's fight: "I'm looking to put on a dominant performance. You can't come off a win like my last one and have a so-so performance. I don't want to be known as a fluke."