Bellator announced to ESPN its upcoming tentpole event, which can be set to take place 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 the current MMA odds and ends.
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio «Pitbull» Freire, Bellator 221
The principal event of Bellator 221 is going to 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 going 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 struggle. He has 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 ever. Pitbull (28-4) can also be 16-4 in Bellator and is coming off of back-to-back featherweight title defenses over Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Wiechel. What a fight between two fights. Chandler will probably be preferred here as he’s the larger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and shouldn’t be counted out. Depending on the line, Pitbull could be worth a look as a dog.
Pat Curran vs. AJ McKee, Bellator 221
Former Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran will come back to the cage when 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 really riding a three-fight win streak at this time, though he has not fought as an October 2017 conclusion win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) made his Bellator and expert MMA introduction in October 2015 and has not looked back since as he is undefeated and has buzzsawed through every opponent that Bellator has set his way. Curran is a good gatekeeper at this stage of his career, however, McKee is a real stud and I fully expect him to win this fight. There’s no doubt the undefeated rising star will 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 featuring Douglas Lima against the winner of the weekend’s Paul Daley vs. Michael Page battle. There is not much to say about this yet as he don’t know the matchup, but Lima vs. both of those guys makes for an awesome fight.
Jake Hager vs. TBA, Bellator 221
And Jake Hager will return to the cage to get his next 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 prospect considering his size and strength, though I’d expect Bellator to give him another»can» for his next fight as they continue to slow-build him. I don’t have any doubt Bellator will have the ability to find another Kiser clone and pay them a few thousand dollars to get completed by Hager.
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