Bellator announced to ESPN its upcoming tentpole event, which is set to occur May 11 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The card features lots 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 event of Bellator 221 is going to 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 fight that will ascertain arguably the greatest fighter in Bellator history. Chandler (19-4) is 16-4 in Bellator and just won back the lightweight title from Brent Primus in his last fight. He’s won seven of the last eight fights overall 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 off of back-to-back featherweight title defenses over Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Wiechel. What a great battle between two amazing fights. Chandler will probably be preferred here as he’s the bigger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and shouldn’t be counted out. Based 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 once he takes on increasing star AJ McKee. Curran (23-7) is 13-4 overall in Bellator and is among the top fighters to fight for the promotion. He’s actually riding a three-fight win series right now, though he hasn’t fought since an October 2017 conclusion win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) made his Bellator and pro MMA debut in October 2015 and hasn’t looked back because as he’s undefeated and contains buzzsawed through each opponent that Bellator has put his manner. Curran is a good gatekeeper at this stage of his career, but McKee is a real stud and I fully expect him to win this battle. There’s no doubt that the undefeated rising star is going to be a huge 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 particular 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 do not know the matchup, however, Lima vs. either 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 opponent. Hager (1-0) filed JW Kiser in his Bellator and MMA debut. He looks like a very intriguing heavyweight prospect considering his strength and size, though I’d anticipate Bellator to provide him a second”can” for his next battle as they continue to slow-build him. I have no doubt Bellator will be able to find another Kiser clone and pay them a couple thousand dollars to get completed by Hager.
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