Hey, guess what. Michael Chandler didn’t know who Akihiro Gono was until he was booked to fight him in a Bellator superfight. Surprising considering Gono fought in the UFC three times, picking up submission of the night in his debut. Gono also fought under the PRIDE banner a total of nine times, in which period he beat Gegard Mousasi and Hector Lombard. Less surprising however, when you consider Chandler never really watched MMA and still doesn’t. In Michael Chandler we’re talking about a guy who until recently didn’t take more than a week off training since high school, who was excited at the prospect of four fights in the year. The dude clearly likes to stay busy. Chandler spoke to Fighters Only recently about beating Alvarez, being injured and his future and as you can see in the quote below, he isn’t really a fan of MMA, despite being involved in one of the best fights from 2011.
“I’ve never really been a huge fan of MMA. I still don’t follow it very much. I never really watched much of PRIDE and I didn’t even know who he was honestly. Any average fan of MMA, who has watched the UFC and PRIDE, knows who he is. I’m just happy to get back in the cage, no matter who it is.”
You might not want him on your team for MMA Trivial Pursuit when they invent it but I’ll take a future Frate Trane over an MMA nerd any time in almost any other situation. Still, I can’t help but wonder if knowing who Don Frye is would improve Chandler as a fighter.