The UFC is seen by most as the pinnacle of Mixed Martial Arts. However, there’s at least one elite lightweight who won’t be showcasing his skills inside the Octagon anytime soon if ever at all – Michael Chandler.

According to an official press release, the 27-year old Bellator champion recently inked a long-term contract reportedly making him one of the well-paid 155ers in the sport.

“I believe Michael is the best lightweight in MMA. And, given that, I felt it was paramount to keep Michael at Bellator for the long term,” explained CEO Bjorn Rebney in a statement to media. “Both inside and outside the cage, Michael is a tremendous representative for our Bellator. And, now as one of the highest paid lightweights in MMA, he’s without question earned that distinction.”

“I couldn’t be happier with the situation I’m in right now. Bellator is my home, it’s where I want to be, and it’s where I’m going to continue to defend my belt,” added the elated Chandler. “Over the last few months you’ve continued to see Bellator go out and sign some of the best talent in the world, and the tournaments continue to be loaded with talent that I’m ready to take on. I believe in this format and what Bellator is doing, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Chandler is 11-0 in his career including wins over Patricky Freire, Rick Hawn, and Eddie Alvarez. He is scheduled to defend his title against tournament winner David Rickels (14-1) next Wednesday night at Bellator 97. Fans can catch the tilt on Spike TV.