Michael Chandler made history in Hawaii.
The Hard Knocks 365 representative became the first-ever three-time Bellator MMA champion, as he reclaimed the lightweight crown with a lopsided unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Brent Primus in the Bellator 212 headliner on Friday at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. The judges awarded Chandler a clean sweep on the scorecards: 50-45, 50-45 and 50-45.
Primus — who had beaten “Iron Mike” in June 2017 — never seemed comfortable outside of a second-round exchange in which he advanced to the back and threatened to cinch a rear-naked choke. Chandler executed takedowns in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds, maintained advantageous positions for minutes at a time and applied his ground-and-pound whenever possible. By the time it was over, there was little doubt regarding the outcome.
Meanwhile, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane kept her perfect professional record intact and retained the women’s flyweight championship in stirring fashion, as she submitted Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Valerie Letourneau with a triangle choke in the third round of their Bellator 213 main event on Saturday at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Letourneau tapped 3:19 into Round 3, submitting for the first time in her 17-fight career.