It wasn’t the fight he wanted, but former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler continued his quest to regain the title by making quick work of Brandon Girtz on Friday night.
Chandler was supposed to get his opportunity at redemption in the Bellator 197 headliner in St. Charles, Mo., but lightweight champion Brent Primus had to pull out of the fight because of a knee injury in March. Girtz, though he wasn’t exactly knocking the door down to a title shot, was game and quickly agreed to step in and keep Chandler on the fight card.
Unfortunately for him, Chandler was just too much for him. Girtz was aggressive from the opening bell, but Chandler eventually took him to the canvas, briefly put him in a crucifix, and then scrambled into a set-up for the arm-triangle choke.
The victory was Chandler’s 15th in the Bellator cage, a promotional record.
In the Bellator 197 co-main event, A.J. McKee used his reach to keep Justin Lawrence at bay for the better part of their three-round fight, earning a unanimous nod form the judges. The victory improved McKee’s record to a spotless 11-0.
“James Gallagher, you keep pulling out of fights, saying you’re hurt, this that, this that,” McKee said after his hand was raised. “The fans want to see it, homie. You’re not Conor McGregor. You ain’t nothing like him. I’m gonna expose you to the world
Highly decorated collegiate wrestler Logan Storley continued his successful transition to mixed martial arts by dominating fellow up-and-comer Joaquin Buckley. Storley utilized his wrestling to full effect, earning a unanimous decision victory over Buckley and taking his record to 8-0 as a professional fighter.
In the main card opener, Kimbo Slice’s son, Kevin Ferguson, Jr., continued his rise, submitting Devon Brock just 34 seconds into their fight. Ferguson’s MMA record now stands at 3-1, as he begins to look more and more comfortable in the cage.
Bellator 197 Fight Highlights
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Bellator 197: Chandler vs. Girtz Full Results
- Michael Chandler def. Brandon Girtz via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:00, R1
- A.J. McKee def. Justin Lawrence via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Logan Storley def. Joaquin Buckley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
- Kevin Ferguson Jr. def. Devon Brock via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:34, R1
- A.J. Siscoe def. Justin Robbins via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:34, R2
- Jordan Downy def. Jeff Crotty via submission (rear-naked choke) 0:29, R1
- Juliana Velasquez def. Rebecca Ruth via TKO (body kick) at 0:19, R3
- Derek Anderson def. Zak Bucia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Dominic Mazzotta def. Josh Sampo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Eric Ellington def. Jordan Howard via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Adam Cella def. DeWayne Diggs via TKO (strikes) at 4:27, R1
- Cort Wahle def. Joe Roye via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:21, R1