Michael Chandler suffered one of the most high-profile losses of his career last Saturday and he’s not shying away from the fallout.
The three-time lightweight champion saw his latest reign end when featherweight champion Patricio Freire defeated him at Bellator 221 via TKO in just 61 second. Addressing the public for the first time since his fight with “Pitbull,” Chandler took to Instagram to provide an update on where his head is at:
In the statement, Chandler admits that the loss “hurts” but adds that the embarrassment has led to a greater appreciation for his family, fans, himself, and the sport of MMA. He also expresses excitement over being the “hunter” again as opposed to the “hunted” and vowed that “the best is yet to come.”
Read Chandler’s full statement below:
This sport has never been about the wins and the losses for me.
I realize that is a very easy thing to say after you have lost a fight.
I refuse to say it doesn’t sting. I refuse to say I haven’t shed a tear or two over it. I’m not ashamed to say it hurts.
But this sport is as merciless and unforgiving as it is beautiful and exhilarating.
We can’t enjoy the spoils of the good without also accepting the pains of the bad.
When I woke up Sunday morning I woke up a winner for more reasons than I can count.
In the last few days I’ve spent quality time with my family and in a weird way this loss and the embarrassment that accompanies it has made me love them and myself deeper. It has made me love the fans deeper. It has made me love this sport deeper.
Getting knocked down and embarrassed for the whole world to see is never easy. The naysayers have been and will continue to come out of the woodwork. The constant struggle to block out the negativity and focus only on the good has been a mountainous task, but a battle I am winning.
I relish in the notion that this journey is far from over and I am certain that the best is yet to come.
Picture me sitting somewhere out there right now…with a confident smirk on my face because I secretly love my back against the wall. I secretly love being the hunter and not the hunted. I thrive in an environment where I have nothing to lose.
You thought you’ve seen hard work before? You haven’t seen anything yet.
See you at the top!