Bellator announced to ESPN its upcoming tentpole event, which can be set to occur May 11 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The card includes a number of fascinating matchups, and I will list them below along with my initial thoughts in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator 221
The main occasion of Bellator 221 will be a five-round superfight between Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and Bellator featherweight champion Patricio”Pitbull” Freire. Chandler’s belt will probably be up for grabs in this one as Pitbull is moving up in weight for a struggle that will ascertain arguably the greatest fighter in Bellator history. Chandler (19-4) is 16-4 in Bellator and won back the lightweight title from Brent Primus in his last fight. He’s won seven of his last eight fights complete and with a win here over Pitbull would solidify himself as the advertising’s greatest home-grown gift ever. Pitbull (28-4) can also be 16-4 in Bellator and is coming off of back-to-back featherweight title defenses over Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Wiechel. What a fantastic fight between two fights. Chandler will likely be favored here as he is the larger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and should not be counted out. Depending on the internet, Pitbull may be well worth a look for a dog.
Pat Curran vs. AJ McKee, Bellator 221
Former Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran will return to the cage when he takes on increasing star AJ McKee. Curran (23-7) is 13-4 overall in Bellator and is one of the very best fighters to ever fight for the promotion. He is really riding a three-fight win streak at this time, though he has not fought since an October 2017 decision win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) made his Bellator and pro MMA debut in October 2015 and has not looked back because as he’s undefeated and contains buzzsawed through each opponent that Bellator has put his way. Curran is a good gatekeeper at this point of his profession, however, McKee is a true stud and I fully expect him to win this fight. There’s no doubt the undefeated rising star is going to be a massive favorite here.
Douglas Lima vs. winner of Paul Daley/Michael Page, Bellator 221
The semifinals of this Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will take place on this particular card featuring Douglas Lima against the winner of the weekend’s Paul Daley vs. Michael Page fight. There is not much to say about this yet as he don’t understand the matchup, however, Lima vs. both of those guys makes for an wonderful fight.
Jake Hager vs. TBA, Bellator 221
And Jake Hager will return to the cage for his next MMA battle against a yet-to-be-named opponent. Hager (1-0) submitted JW Kiser in his Bellator and MMA debut. He seems like a very intriguing heavyweight prospect considering his size and strength, though I would anticipate Bellator to give him a second”can” because of his next battle as they continue to slow-build him. I don’t have any doubt Bellator will have the ability to find a different Kiser clone and pay them a few thousand bucks to get finished by Hager.
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