In his first bout since losing the lightweight title last June, Michael Chandler took his frustrations out on Goiti Yamauchi for three rounds to get back in the win column with a unanimous-decision victory at Bellator 192 on Saturday.
Chandler (17-4) controlled the first round, knocking down Yamauchi (22-4) early and maintaining top position on the mat until the bell rang by landing a series of short strikes, though none appeared to do serious damage.
Yamauchi came out hot in the second round, landing a hard kick to the head and following with a knee to the body that appeared to stun Chandler. The former lightweight champ recovered by taking down Yamauchi and gaining position on the ground, similar to the first round. Chandler maintained enough control to win both of the opening frames.
In the third, Chandler accidentally poked Yamauchi in the eye a minute in, after the submission specialist already had a cut opened on his forehead. It took Chandler little time after the brief stoppage to take down Yamauchi and establish a dominant top position. Chandler gained enough leverage to land a long series of devastating strikes to the head in the final 90 seconds that secured a victory.
It was the first loss Yamauchi had suffered since March 2016, while the win was Chandler’s fifth over his last six bouts.