For Derek Campos, Legacy Means Becoming the Bellator Champion

Though injury may have cost him a chance at an undefeated year in 2014 as he went 2-1, overall Bellator lightweight Derek Campos feels like he made positive strides in his career.

“Looking at last year I’ve grown to being in a different place mentally, physically, and emotionally,” Campos told “I’m looking at my career in the long run. In the time I think I have left, it’s do or die, because I want to be a champion and leave a legacy as a champion.”

Campos’ urgency comes from the fact that winning a major promotional championship is his top goal and at the level he is at now, the opportunity is as close as it has ever been.

“I just feel like as a fighter that if you’re not pushing forward to be a champion, then you’re fighting for the wrong reasons,” said Campos. “The next fight should always be about getting one step closer to fighting for the title, or to fight for the title and win it.”

Campos (15-4) will have an opportunity to take one step closer to a title when he faces former lightweight champion Michael Chandler (12-3) in a feature bout at Bellator 138 on Friday in St. Louis.

“This is a match-up that I’ve always wanted,” said Campos. “Chandler is just the type of fighter that I’ve always wanted. He’s a top competitor. To me as a fighter that’s what I want.

“Going into this fight, I know he’s going to be 150-percent and show up as the best Chandler that he can be, so to win I have to implement my strategy and use my will to break his will and pretty much block everything else out. My will has to beat his will.”

With Campos sensing that 2015 can be a milestone year in his career, defeating Chandler will be the foundation fight that he can build off of for the rest of the year.

“What matters to me for this fight is for the world to see that I can compete against the best and beat the best,” said Campos. “Even if they don’t give me a title shot after this one, I want to keep fighting the best guys. Whoever is at the top of the lightweight class, I want to fight.

“For my legacy, I want to know that I fought the top guys out there and that I beat them and became a champion.

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