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Derby’s David Rickels loses Bellator title fight

David Rickels finally got a shot at a mixed martial arts title … and it lasted all of 44 seconds.

The Derby native nicknamed “The Caveman” came into Wednesday’s Bellator Fighting Championships bout on a four-fight win streak, but 155-pound champion Michael Chandler wasn’t about to give up his championship belt.

Rickels, who had a height and reach advantage, landed a few lower leg kicks to start the fight, but that’s about all that went right for him. Chandler got inside and took advantage.

Chandler (12-0) landed a right hook that dropped the challenger to his knees. Rickels quickly got back to his feet, but caught another combination of punches to the face that put him to the floor for good.

“You can’t have fear out here,” said Chandler, a former University of Missouri all-American wrestler. “I train my but off every day for this.”

It was Chandler’s second successful title defense. Ranked as the No. 7 lightweight by Fight! Magazine, Chandler said he welcomes all challengers.

“I can’t wait to step in the cage with any of you guys,” he said during a post-fight interview in the ring.

Rickels, who entered the fight ranked No. 25, will need to regroup after his second loss in 16 career fights.

In Wednesday’s other championship fight, Ben Askren (11-0) dominated previously unbeaten Russian Andrey Koreshkov (13-1) for most of four rounds before the welterweight fight was stopped by TKO. Askren, also a former Missouri and Olympic wreslter, is ranked No. 7, behind six UFC fighters.

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