Michael Chandler signs exclusive deal with Bellator

Michael Chandler, one of the top lightweight fighters in the world, has signed a new, exclusive contract with Bellator MMA.

According to Bellator president Scott Coker, Chandler (18-4) agreed to a new multi-fight deal on Wednesday. The former two-time champion fought out his previous deal earlier this year and has been immersed in negotiations with Bellator for months.

"I'm happy that we were able t come to terms with Michael Chandler on a new fight contract," Coker said. "He's had a ton of great fights with us already, is a great representative for the brand and there's something to be said about him being with the Bellator family as long as he has.

"One day, Michael will be a part of Bellator's 'Mount Rushmore.' He is truly in the prime of his career, so now I look forward to sitting down with the team and putting together a plan for when fans can expect to see Michael in big fights soon."

Chandler, 32, has fought under the Bellator banner since 2010, and is considered one of the faces of the company. He owns 15 career wins as a Bellator fighter, which is tied for the most in the promotion's history.

Fighting out of Nashville, Tennessee, Chandler has won six of his past seven. He was scheduled to face defending champion Brent Primus in a title rematch in April, but Primus was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury.

ESPN ranks Chandler the No. 7 lightweight in the world. He has expressed interest in fighting current featherweight champion Patricio Freire, as well as a potential trilogy bout with Eddie Alvarez, who is currently weighing his options after fighting out his UFC contract last month.