SAN DIEGO — The finish seemed so strange.
To some, it appeared Chandler popped back to his feet and complained about a foul. To others, it appeared he was looking to wave off the fight on his own.
Either way, referee Jason Herzog, correctly, let the fight continue. And after a moment’s hesitation, Brooks swooped in and finished the bout, claiming the vacant Bellator lightweight title via TKO.
At the Bellator 131 post-fight press conference at Valley View Casino Center, Chandler gave his take on what happened in the final, confusing seconds of the fight.
"It wasn’t an eyepoke," Chandler said. "I’m not going to come here and say it was anything more than a punch. I saw the replay. Will hit me pretty square and, it’s a fight. My face is beat up, his is beat up, this is what we do. We go out there and lay it on the line. You win some, you lose some, and sometime weird things like that happen. I’ll be back."
Ironically, Brooks was the one at the hospital after the bout, taking care of an undisclosed injury, while Chandler made it to the press conference. As for why Chandler, who was drilled in the ear by a Brooks punch on his way back to his feet, saw fit to wave his arms, he simply didn’t have a good answer.
"I went back and watched the replay," Chandler said. "How the body works, what happens, what happened there,’ it does look like I lost sight of something. I was up, but obviously the ref stepped in."