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 includes lots of exciting 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 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 fight that will determine arguably the best 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 his last eight fights overall and having a win here over Pitbull would solidify himself as the promotion’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 great 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 internet, Pitbull could 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 once he takes on rising 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 series right now, though he has not fought as an October 2017 decision win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) made his Bellator and expert MMA debut in October 2015 and has not looked back since as he is undefeated and has buzzsawed through every competitor that Bellator has set his way. Curran is a good gatekeeper at this point of his career, but McKee is a true stud and I fully expect him to win this fight. There is 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 card comprising Douglas Lima contrary to the winner of the weekend Paul Daley vs. Michael Page battle. There’s not much to say about this yet as he don’t understand the matchup, however, Lima vs. both of those guys makes for an awesome fight.
Jake Hager vs. TBA, Bellator 221
And finally, Jake Hager will come back to the cage to get his second MMA fight 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 potential considering his size and strength, though I’d anticipate Bellator to provide him a second”can” for his next battle as they continue to slow-build him. I don’t have any doubt Bellator is going to be able to discover a different Kiser clone and pay them a few thousand dollars to get completed by Hager.
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