Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler will remain in the fold.
The 29-year-old Chandler, who has spent almost his entire career under the Bellator banner, has signed a long-term contract extension, the company announced Friday. While details weren't formally disclosed, Bellator categorized it as a "multi-year, multi-fight" deal.
"I'm ecstatic to continue my career with Scott Coker and Bellator MMA. It's obvious that good things are continuing to happen for this promotion and it's correlating to big opportunities for myself as well," Chandler said in a press release. "I can't wait to get back in action and test myself against some of these new guys coming in and move back up through the ranks.
Chandler (14-3) debuted with the company at Bellator 31, where he scored a first-round knockout of Scott Stapp. He gained his biggest fame for a pair of fights with Eddie Alvarez which are largely considered the two best in Bellator history. At Bellator 58 in 2011, Chandler defeated Alvarez via fourth-round submission to claim the lightweight title. Alvarez regained the title two years later via split decision at Bellator 106.
"Michael Chandler is synonymous with our brand and doubles as an incredibly talented and exciting mixed martial artist," said Bellator president Scott Coker. "Not every fighter or free agent aligns with our future plans, but when looking at Chandler's resume, inking him to a long-term extension was a no-brainer. I look forward to getting him back in action as soon as possible."
Chandler is currently on a two-fight win streak, both via finish. According to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani, Bellator is working on former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson for a May fight as Chandler's next opponent, but the deal is not finished.