Bellator declared to ESPN its upcoming tentpole event, which can be set to take place 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 winner Michael Chandler and Bellator featherweight champion Patricio”Pitbull” Freire. Chandler’s belt will be up for grabs in this one as Pitbull is going 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 last struggle. He has won seven of the last eight fights complete and having a win here over Pitbull would solidify himself as the advertising’s greatest home-grown talent . Pitbull (28-4) is also 16-4 in Bellator and is coming from back-to-back featherweight title defenses over Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Wiechel. What a fight between two fights. Chandler will probably be favored here as he’s the larger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and shouldn’t be counted out. Based on the line, Pitbull may be worth a look for a dog.
Pat Curran vs. AJ McKee, Bellator 221
Former Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran will come back to the cage when he chooses on rising star AJ McKee. Curran (23-7) is 13-4 overall in Bellator and is among the very best fighters to fight for the promotion. He’s really riding a three-fight win series at this time, though he has not fought since an October 2017 decision win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) made his Bellator and expert MMA debut in October 2015 and hasn’t looked back since as he is undefeated and has buzzsawed through every opponent that Bellator has put his way. Curran is a good gatekeeper at this point of his career, however, McKee is a true stud and I fully expect him to win this fight. There’s no doubt that the undefeated rising star will be a massive favorite here.
Douglas Lima vs. winner of Paul Daley/Michael Page, Bellator 221
The semifinals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will take place with this particular card comprising Douglas Lima contrary to the winner of the weekend’s Paul Daley vs. Michael Page battle. There is not much to say about this however as he don’t know the matchup, however, Lima vs. either of those guys makes for an awesome fight.
Jake Hager vs. TBA, Bellator 221
And finally, Jake Hager will return to the cage to get his second MMA fight 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 potential considering his strength and size, though I’d anticipate Bellator to provide him a second”can” for his next battle because they continue to slow-build him. I have no doubt Bellator is going to be able to discover a different Kiser clone and pay them a couple thousand bucks to get completed by Hager.
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