Originally from St. Louis, Michael Grew up in a fairly typical blue-collar, hard-working, middle-American household, with a union carpenter an a secretary for parents. The value of hard work, then, was instilled early on – as well as the desire to do what he could for those around him.
In 2004, Chandler enrolled at the University of Missouri, walking onto the school’s wrestling squad. While at Missouri Chandler was a four-time NCAA qualifier, collected 100 career wins, as well as earning fifth place at NCAA’s earning Division 1 NCAA All-American honors. Chandler earned runner-up honors in the 2008 and 2009 Big 12 Championships and was awarded automatic bids to three of the four NCAA tournaments he competed in. Chandler compiled a 31-15 record against Big 12 opponents and a 100-40 overall record in his four years as a starter. He majored in personal finance management services with a minor in real estate.
Immediately after his wrestling career was over, Chandler began training mixed martial arts with Xtreme Couture. He opted out of competing as an amateur and in August 2009, Chandler made his professional MMA debut with a first round TKO victory over Kyle Swadley.
Bursting onto the MMA scene in 2010, Michael was successful in 12 consecutive wins including three in the Bellator tournament becoming the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Champion. He earned a Bellator title shot against #5 world ranked Eddie Alvarez in November of 2011. Their title fight solidified Michael in the world MMA rankings and showed his toughness and grit, submitting Alvarez in the 4th round after a back and forth battle. The title fight was nominated by many as the “Fight of the Year.” Michael held and successfully defended the belt for over two years until losing the belt by close split decisions. Stay tuned for updates on Michael’s MMA career right here on his website.
Michael is from High Ridge, MO and currently resides in Nashville, TN with his wife Brie.