clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bellator 221 ‘Chandler vs Pitbull’ conference call recap - ‘Pitbull’ barks at Chandler, McKee

Bellator 221 conference call

Bellator 221: “Chandler vs. Pitbull” is scheduled to take place at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on May 11, 2019. As you’d expect from the headlining act, this is a Michael Chandler (19-4) vs. Patricio Freire (28-4) fight, with only “Iron” putting his Lightweight title on the line as “Pitbull” tries to become a “champ champ” in the promotion.

Bellator MMA held a media conference call on April 30, 2019, to promote the card and both Chandler and Freire were on the line. Welterweight Grand Prix semifinalists Douglas Lima (30-7) and Michael “Venom” Page (14-0), as well as featured Featherweight fighter A.J. McKee (13-0) — who will be facing Pat Curran (23-7) — were also on the line.

Selected quotes from the call are provided below, while an audio replay of said same will be available for your listening pleasure above.

A.J. McKee on if beating Pat Curran makes him No. 1 contender: “Yeah, I think it does you know. I thank Pat for taking the fight you know. In this situation I feel like Pat’s the true champ. I’m pretty much wiping out everybody in the division. With Pat, stylistically, he’s had some time off, he’s not really beat up. He’s hungry. We were scheduled to fight before and I thank him for taking the fight you know? I’m ready to go get it. I’ve been calling out that belt since day one. I don’t know why Patricio’s fighting Chandler. That don’t really make sense.”

Chandler on why fighting Patricio Freire makes sense: “I want this superfight because it’s been a long time in the making. This is two of Bellator’s best fighters, two of Bellator’s winning-est fighters. It’s a match up that people have wanted to see. He’s wanted the fight, I’ve wanted the fight. I don’t have a ton of guys knocking down the door showing themselves as No. 1 contenders at 155. We have a score to settle so we’re going to step in the cage May 11th and it’s going to be a good fight.”

Patricio Freire on the challenge of going up to 155: “Yes, I’m ready for this challenge. Michael Chandler’s era is over. It’s time for new champion at the Lightweight division.”

Douglas Lima on overcoming the striking style of Michael Page: “I’ve got my own style. I’ve got an answer for a style that he brings. I know nobody was able to deal with it, but I’m about to be the first one to you know. I’m ready, I’ve been ready for this for a while, and I can’t wait to show it on May 11th.”

Michael Page on fighting a two-time world champion: “Yeah, it’s exciting, very exciting. Douglas Lima is an amazing fighter, amazing athlete, someone that I’m rooted for all the time that I’ve been in this game and the time that I’ve been in Bellator. I’m just excited to show my skills against him. I look forward to it.”

Michael Chandler on Henderson vs. Piccolotti: “It was typical Benson Henderson fashion. When it went to the judges I figured he won but there were 10 different judges that night, you might see a couple different ways it was scored. The way that he fights, the way that he moves, always winds up ending up going to a nod on the judges cards. That’s why you never want to go to the judges with him.”

Patricio Freire on whether he’ll stay at Lightweight: “Really the first time I went up in weight class is because of the challenge. At one time in my career I did want a second belt but this will signify me taking off my opponent’s head — Michael Chandler’s head on a spike, that’s what this belt means to me. It’s not about being champion. (As for Henderson) he’s got to ask for the rematch — he lost the fight to me.”

Douglas Lima on MacDonald vs. Fitch: “Rory dazed him a couple of times standing, he hit him with more strikes, and for me a fight is about damage. So for that reason I think Rory won the fight instead of a draw.”

Michael Page on the same fight: “Slightly agree. It depends on how you can look at that. If you are scoring it as a point scoring thing technically maybe Fitch won that, but if you’re scoring it as a fight then Rory did win that fight. It was a close one. I did think it was going to be close. I find it weird that you go through on a draw. There should have been an actual winner. I still believe the right person went through anyway.”

“MVP” on making a statement against Lima: “In every fight we want to finish an opponent. It has nothing to do with how anybody else’s result went. At the end of the day it’s a tournament. I don’t care how I win as long as I win. I’d like a highlight reel finish as I’m sure anyone would in the Octagon or the cage, but regardless of how it happens I want to cross that line and move on to the final.”

Freire on what fighting Chandler means: “Chandler I’m going to take your belt and kick your ass. Mark my words, you’re gonna see this — motherfucker. I don’t give a fuck for the belt man. I don’t give a fuck. I don’t want the belt, I want his ass. He knows that.”

Chandler on the bad blood with Freire: “For me it doesn’t mean a thing. I’m extremely nasty when I step into that cage. Unlike Rory MacDonald I talk to my God every day and he’s fine with me beating the hell out of people. You can mother-eff me all you want but at the end of the day you’ve got to step in there with the toughest dude you’ve ever stepped into the cage with. It’s great that we have the history and the bad blood — the promoters can promote and the reporters can report. All I’m thinking about is outperforming the Michael Chandler who stepped into the cage the last time.”

Freire on how tough Chandler is: “I don’t care about ranking him against my other opponents. I just want to shut him up, make him hurt, and make him feel every punch. I know he quits when he gets hurt. He’s a little cat when he gets hit.”

Douglas Lima on whether or not MacDonald is quitting: “That’s a fight I would like to get the rematch, the first was so close and many people think I won, but the title is more important. Of course I’m hoping he keeps going, everything goes good, that’s the final I would like. Let’s see what happens. Hopefully he finds himself and gets back in the tournament.”

Michael Page on MacDonald not having heart: “You should never be doing our sport and be unsure about being there. It can be very dangerous at that point, and it’s really dangerous when you have those kind of hesitations in yourself. You should never put yourself in that scenario. If I feel like I’m at that stage I would have to quit.”

Lima on the exact same question: “He still fought good. I don’t know if he started feeling that during the fight but he still had a great performance.”

Freire on controlling his emotions against Chandler: “My opponent just thinks about using strength and is not a smart fighter. He’s dangerous, he knows that he’s dangerous, but tactically and strategic wise he’s not smart and I’m going to destroy his world May 11th.”

Chandler on his response: “This is my 24th fight. I’ve heard it all. Everybody thinks their opponent has all these glaring weaknesses. I’m going to be the smartest most veteran I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve continued to improve and I’m stepping into the cage with a guy who is beatable in every aspect of the game. The good thing is his brother will be in the corner to see me dismantle him as well.”

A.J. McKee on putting Pat Curran out: “I hope not. For me I feel like he’s the true champ in this situation. I’ve been fighting everybody in the division and nobody really wants to fight me.”

Patricio Freire: “You’re not ready for me.”

A.J. McKee: “Shut up! You’re all bark, no bite homey. I’m gonna take you to the pound. Your a dog in a lion’s world.”

Patricio Freire: “Be careful with Pat Curran. He’s going to destroy you. You will see that. You’re up against a real fighter now.”

A.J. McKee: “You’re running from me. That’s why you went to another division. I’m gonna do what you couldn’t do, knock Pat out. Mark my words. I think Pitbull’s gonna get his ass whooped against Chandler and then he’s gonna say he can’t fight me (so) I hope he gives the belt up. I’m waiting for one of these supposed lions to step in front of me so I can show him what a roar is like. I sign a contract that’s why I’m the ‘Mercenary’ - even if I’m hurt I show up to fight.”

Michael Chandler on if this fight is more personal: “The funny thing is I don’t really think about it. You’re trying to find a story. You’re reaching for a headline. It sounds like a great story that there’s a big rivalry but trust me Patricio Pitbull doesn’t keep me up at night. This one’s the biggest fight of my life and everything’s firing on all cylinders. Bad blood, good blood or anything in between I’m the dominant fighter on May 11th and I’ll let my fighting do the talking.”

Patricio Freire: “You’ll lose.”

Michael Chandler: “A.J.’s gonna come and knock him out after I do. He’s been hit in the head way too many times.”

Patricio Freire: “But I never give up, you do. You don’t have balls man. You’ll give up.”

MVP on adjusting his takedown defense to fight Lima: “Yeah of course. Every time we get back in the gym you’re working on all your mistakes you made in the last fight. I think mentally I wasn’t really there (against Daley) and just wasn’t responding the way I normally would be. I don’t care about opinions though. As long as I keep winning it doesn’t matter.”

Patricio Freire on whether or not he wants McKee to win: “I believe Patrick Curran is the toughest fight of his career, he’s the former world champion, I knocked him down five times and he still got up. If he can get past Curran I believe he deserves to fight me but I don’t think he can. I’m betting on Curran.”

A.J. McKee: “Of course you’re going to bet on Curran. You don’t want to fight me you weenie!! I’m gonna touch you on your chin and put your ass to sleep.”

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania