Austin Chandler is a Leesville native who is looking for his first big win in the MMA cage.

He trains under Chris Champagne for Zero Mercy MMA in Leesville. Chandler had a rough start to his career as a fighter, losing his debut fight by unanimous decision. However, he feels confident that this upcoming fight is going to go differently.

He said that he has been training hard to prepare for his next bout and the intense training combined with the experience from his first fight has made a difference in how he approaches this fight.

“I have more experience and training since then. I’m also a lot less nervous,” said Chandler. “I want to do the best I possibly can in MMA. I want to take this as far as I can take it. Everybody wants to be the UFC champion”

Chandler described his passion for MMA as only someone with a true love of the sport could. He spoke about his heroes Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell being the reason he got into MMA in the first place.

“Anderson Silva was my idol growing up. He came into UFC and dominated everybody. He knocked out some of the best fighters in the world and made it look easy. Chuck Lidell was this crazy tough brawler, and I’ll never forget when he beat Tito Ortiz.”

Chandler will fight Earnest Singleton at the big event. Singleton, 30, is a Muay Thai fighter from Texas who has a 1-1 record.

Chandler noted that a lot has changed about him since the first fight. He said that he won’t be as nervous as he was during his debut. He said that he will be more focused, and ready to fight hard. “There is such a big difference in the way I felt about the first fight and the way I feel about this one. I was too nervous in the first fight, and I let that distract me from my game plan. This time I’m going to stick to the game plan this time, and keep my cool.”

The “D’Town Beatdown” will be held at the Beauregard Parish Covered arena on March 2nd. For more information log on to www.atlasfights.com.