In the main event of Bellator 197, Michael Chandler firmly established himself as the number-one contender for the lightweight championship with a first-round submission of Brandon Girtz. Chandler set the record for most wins in Bellator history (15), the record for most stoppage wins (11) and tied the record for most submission wins (6).
Chandler was expected to have a rematch with lightweight champion Brent Primus at Bellator 197, but he pulled out with an injury and Girtz stepped up on less than a month's notice. The first round started back-and-forth with both fighters landing shots. Time was stopped twice after a low blow by Girtz and an eye poke from Chandler. Chandler used a nice set up to shoot for the takedown and held Girtz down with a half nelson. He then dragged Girtz away from the cage and locked in an arm triangle choke and Girtz fell unconscious.
In his post-fight interview, Chandler didn't mention Primus when asked who he's facing next. But it can be expected that Chandler is next in line for a title shot.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- Michael Chandler def. Brandon Girtz via submission (arm triangle) at 4:00 of Round 1
- 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 of Round 1
- A.J. Siscoe def. Justin Robbins via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:34 of Round 2
- Jordan Downy def. Jeff Crotty via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:29 of Round 1
- Juliana Velasquez def. Rebecca Ruth via TKO (kick) at 0:50 of Round 3
- 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 of Round 1
- Cort Wahle def. Joe Roye via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:21 of Round 1