Bellator announced to ESPN its upcoming tentpole event, which is set to occur May 11 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The card includes lots of fascinating matchups, and I will list them below along with my first thoughts in the current MMA odds and ends.
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator 221
The principal 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 probably 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 advertising’s greatest home-grown talent ever. 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 battle between two amazing fights. Chandler will likely be favored here as he is the bigger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and should not be counted out. Based on the line, Pitbull may be well 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 chooses on increasing star AJ McKee. Curran (23-7) is 13-4 overall in Bellator and is one of the very best fighters to fight for the advertising. He is really riding a three-fight win series at this time, though he has not fought as an October 2017 conclusion win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) made his Bellator and pro MMA introduction in October 2015 and hasn’t looked back because as he’s undefeated and contains buzzsawed through each opponent that Bellator has set his manner. Curran is a solid gatekeeper at this stage of his career, but McKee is a real stud and I fully expect him to win this fight. There’s no doubt that the undefeated rising star will be a huge 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 featuring Douglas Lima contrary to the winner of this weekend’s Paul Daley vs. Michael Page fight. There’s not much to say about this yet as he do not know the matchup, but 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 battle against a yet-to-be-named competition. Hager (1-0) submitted JW Kiser in his Bellator and MMA debut. He seems like a very intriguing heavyweight prospect considering his strength and size, though I’d anticipate Bellator to provide him another”can” because of his next fight because they continue to slow-build him. I don’t have any doubt Bellator is going to have the ability to find another Kiser clone and pay them a few thousand dollars to get finished by Hager.
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