Michael Chandler was looking for a big win at Bellator 243, as he gets set to test the free agent market, and the former lightweight champ did just that.

Chandler storms through Benson Henderson

Chandler took on Benson Henderson in the card’s main event, and the bout marked the second time they’ve fought. At Bellator 165 in 2016, Chandler worked his way to a split decision win over the former UFC champ.

At Bellator 243, however, things went drastically different. As you can see by watching the clip below, Chandler put Henderson with a thumping left in round one, and then finished the deal with follow-up punches.

As noted above, the 34-year-old Chandler (21-5) is now headed to free agency, which is why he had this to say after the card (quote via MMA Junkie).

“If this is the last time I step in the Bellator cage, everyone in the house … you guys have no idea the impact you led on my life,” Chandler said. “I am not who I am without the organization of Bellator.”

It’s going to be interesting to see where Chandler winds up. There’s no question he’s one of the best lightweights in the game, and that a lot of hardcore fans would like to see him competing in the UFC.

But, Chandler is also one of Bellator’s most recognizable names. So, the promotion might step up again financially to make sure he remains on the roster.

Bellator 243 results

Here are the complete results for Bellator 243, which took place in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Bellator 243: Chandler vs. Henderson 2 Main Card:

Michael Chandler (21-5) defeated Benson Henderson (28-9) via knockout (punches) at 2:09 of round one

Timothy Johnson (14-6) defeated Matt Mitrione (13-8, 1 NC) via TKO (punches) at 3:14 of round one

Myles Jury (19-5) defeated Georgi Karakhanyan (29-10-1, 1 NC) via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)

Sabah Homasi (14-8) defeated Curtis Millender (18-6) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card:

Adam Borics (15-1) defeated Mike Hamel (7-4) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Cris Lencioni (7-2) defeated AJ Agazarm (3-2) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)

Valerie Loureda (3-0) defeated Tara Graff (1-2) via TKO (punches) at 5:00 of round two

Grant Neal (4-0) defeated Hamza Salim (5-3) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-24)

Charlie Campbell (2-1) defeated Nainoa Dung (3-2) via TKO (leg kicks) at 1:42 of round two

Dalton Rosta (3-0) defeated Mark Gardner (1-2) via TKO (doctor’s stoppage – cut) at 5:00 of round one


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