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 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 occasion 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 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 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 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 great fight between two amazing fights. Chandler will probably be preferred here as he’s the larger fighter, but Pitbull is a stud and should not be counted out. Depending on the line, Pitbull may be well 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 increasing star AJ McKee. Curran (23-7) is 13-4 overall in Bellator and is one of the top fighters to fight for the advertising. He is actually riding a three-fight win series right now, though he has not fought since an October 2017 conclusion win over John Teixeira. McKee (13-0) produced his Bellator and pro MMA introduction in October 2015 and has not looked back since as he is undefeated and contains buzzsawed through every opponent that Bellator has set his way. Curran is a solid gatekeeper at this point 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 the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will take place on this card featuring Douglas Lima against 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 understand the matchup, but Lima vs. both of those guys makes for an awesome fight.
Jake Hager vs. TBA, Bellator 221
And Jake Hager will come back to the cage to get his second MMA battle against a yet-to-be-named opponent. Hager (1-0) submitted JW Kiser in his Bellator and MMA debut. He seems 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 fight because they continue to slow-build him. I have no doubt Bellator is going to have the ability to discover a different Kiser clone and pay them a few thousand bucks to get finished by Hager.
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