Bellator announced to ESPN its forthcoming tentpole event, which is set to occur May 11 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The card features a number of exciting matchups, and I’ll list them below along with my initial thoughts in the current MMA odds and ends.
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator 221
The main event 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 be up for grabs in this one as Pitbull is moving up in weight for a struggle that will determine 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 final struggle. He’s won seven of the last eight fights complete and having a win here over Pitbull would solidify himself as the promotion’s greatest home-grown talent . Pitbull (28-4) can also be 16-4 in Bellator and is coming from back-to-back featherweight title defenses over Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Wiechel. What a great battle between two fights that are amazing. Chandler will probably be preferred here as he’s the bigger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and shouldn’t be counted out. Depending on the internet, Pitbull could be worth a look as a dog.
Pat Curran vs. AJ McKee, Bellator 221
Former Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran will return to the cage when he takes on rising star AJ McKee. Curran (23-7) is 13-4 overall in Bellator and is among the top fighters to ever fight for the promotion. He’s really riding a three-fight win streak right now, though he hasn’t fought as an October 2017 conclusion win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) produced his Bellator and pro MMA debut in October 2015 and has not looked back because as he’s undefeated and contains buzzsawed through every opponent that Bellator has put his manner. Curran is a solid gatekeeper at this stage of his profession, but McKee is a true stud and I fully expect him to win this battle. There’s no doubt that 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 with this card featuring Douglas Lima against the winner of this weekend Paul Daley vs. Michael Page fight. There is not much to say about this yet as he don’t understand the matchup, but Lima vs. both of those men makes for an wonderful fight.
Jake Hager vs. TBA, Bellator 221
And finally, Jake Hager will return to the cage for his second MMA battle against a yet-to-be-named competition. Hager (1-0) filed JW Kiser in his Bellator and MMA debut. He looks like a very intriguing heavyweight prospect considering his size and strength, though I would expect Bellator to provide him another”can” for his next battle as they continue to slow-build him. I have no doubt Bellator is going to have the ability to find a different Kiser clone and pay them a few thousand dollars to get finished by Hager.
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