“I’ve got a lot of improving to do, I’ll tell you that much,” Chandler said. “You’ve got to surround yourself with the best people you can and try to be the best person you can. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. That’s me.”
Chandler was tagged early, but he showed why he's a champion by hanging in the pocket and wearing out his opponent with strikes.
Hawn tapped out 3:07 into round two, as Chandler sunk in a traditional rear-naked choke for the ref stoppage.
With the win, Chandler retained his Bellator MMA lightweight belt.
“You’ve got to stay grounded," Chandler said. "What I’ve accomplished so far is nothing compared to what I want to accomplish as far as wins and putting on great performances for the fans,” Chandler recently said during a media conference call. “Being relatively young in the sport, I just try to stay humble and hungry. I’m healthy, and I’m going to try to continue to get better and continue to prove to myself that I have a ton more potential than I’ve already shown. I haven’t slowed down since I started out in this sport, and I don’t plan on slowing down now.”
Chandler had nothing but love for Hawn, and there was a true mutual respect.
“One of the best things about this fight is the opportunity to fight a competitor like Rick Hawn, a guy who has proved himself and is getting a lot of respect in the MMA world,” said Chandler. “I don’t focus on how I would like to get the finish. I just focus on the game plan I’ve gone over with my coaches, and if a finish comes, then it comes. If not, you’re going to see a five-round war, and I think the fans would love that. It’s going to be an exciting fight from bell-to-bell, no matter what.”