Bellator 221: “Chandler vs. Pitbull” airs TONIGHT (Sat., May 11, 2019) from Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., streaming exclusively online via DAZN (watch it). The Welterweight Grand Prix continues as “Phenom” Douglas Lima (30-7) faces “Venom” Michael Page (14-0), and in our main event Lightweight champion Michael Chandler (19-4) is challenged by Featherweight champion “Pitbull” Patricio Freire (28-4) for his title!
Bellator 221’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET with “Prelims” undercard bouts kicking off at 6:30 p.m. ET on DAZN (watch it). MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card below.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 221) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 221 QUICK RESULTS:
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio Freire — Freire KO 1:01 R1.
Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page — Lima KO 0:35 R2.
A.J. McKee vs. Pat Curran — McKee UD 30-27 X2, 30-26.
Jake Hager vs. T.J. Jones — Hager sub (head and arm choke) 2:36 R1.
Tywan Claxton vs. James Bennett — Claxton TKO 2:09 R3.
Adil Benjilany vs. Cris Lencioni — Lencioni sub (triangle) 4:55 R1.
Scott Writz vs. Josh Streacker — Streacker KO 3:33 R2.
Bryan Bautista vs. Rob Fenicle — Fenicle sub (heel hook) 1:42 R1.
Chris Gonzalez vs. Charlie Radtke — Gonzalez UD 29-28 X3.
James Bochnovic vs. Robert Morrow — Morrow KO 1:18 R1.
Adam Ward vs. Amartuvshin Khuukhenkhuu — Khuukhenkhuu UD 29-28 X3.
Jose Leon vs. Christian Rodriguez — Rodriguez sub (armbar) 4:39 R1.
Dave Latoria vs. Jason Belyew — NC via accidental foul.
Joey Diehl vs. Jesse Bazzi — Bazzi UD 30-27 X3.
BELLATOR 221 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio Freire
Lightweight champion Michael Chandler is 19-4 coming into this fight with his title on the line. Featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is 28-4 as the challenger tonight. Freire sports the black trunks and blue gloves and he fights out of Natal, Brazil. Chandler sports black trunks and red gloves and he fights out of Boca Raton, Florida. The referee in charge is Rob Madrigal. Both men touch gloves during final instructions.
Round 1: Freire rushes to the center. Both men have their hands up high. Chandler misses with a front kick. PITBULL ROCKS CHANDLER AND IT IS ALL OVER. The replay shows us a left hand behind the ear rocked Chandler. He was not defending himself on the ground as Freire gave him four unanswered left hands, and he only started to recover after the referee was already waving it off.
Final result: Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is the NEW LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMP by KNOCKOUT at 1:01 of round one.
Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page
Red gloves and black trunks for Lima with a career record of 30-7 as the two time former Welterweight champion. Blue gloves and black trunks with gold logos for Page with an undefeated record of 14-0. Page owns the reach advantage, and also has a two inch height advantage at 6’3”. He fights out of London, England. Lima fights out of Atlanta, Georgia. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran. They touch gloves during final instructions.
Round 1: Page charges forward at the opening bell but Lima avoids the strikes. Page looks to kick the left knee. Page dances side to side on his feet. Lima throws a leg kick of his own. Page’s hands are down low around his waist. Lima takes him down at 2:05 after Page charged right into him. Lima comes over the top with a right elbow from the full guard. Another one comes at 3:17. Page is fighting for wrist control on the bottom. Beltran warns them to get busy at 4:37. Nothing changes. 10-9 Lima.
Round 2: Page hurts Lima with a right hand shot in the first 20 seconds but Lima DESTROYS HIM WITH A CALF KICK AND PERFECTLY TIMED RIGHT HAND IN RESPONSE when Page was trying to get back up AND IT IS ALL OVER. He threw a couple of hammerfist shots after he rocked Page but they were totally academic — Beltran was rushing in to stop the fight and couldn’t get there fast enough. The whole building is chanting for Lima.
Final result: “The Phenom” Douglas Lima wins by knockout at 0:35 in round two.
A.J. McKee vs. Pat Curran
McKee comes in undefeated at 13-0. Curran has 13 wins in Bellator and an overall record of 23-7 as a two time Featherweight champion. Blue gloves and black trunks for Curran. Red gloves and red trunks for McKee. McKee holds a 2.5” reach advantage at 73.5”. Curran fights out of Crystal Lake, Illinois. McKee fights out of Long Beach, California. Our referee in charge of this fight is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: A glove touch gets us underway. McKee throws a few kicks but Curran is well out of range. In fact it takes almost a full minute before he lands a body kick. McKee throws a head kick that’s checked a half minute later. Body kick connects. McKee takes him down into full guard at 2:02. Curran scoots backward to the fence and gets up at 2:49. Leg kick by Curran. High kick from McKee is checked. By 3:55 the crowd is weary of the lack of output from both men. Curran charges in and eats a short right. McKee knocks Curran down and flurries but Curran wasn’t rocked, just off balance, and he pops right up. 10-9 McKee.
Round 2: McKee and Curran trade kicks in the first half minute. McKee’s kicks are targeting the lead left leg. He throws a front kick and Curran wisely backs away. His inability to close the distance has the crowd booing at 1:30. McKee lands a liver kick. Curran flurries and misses. McKee throws a three piece but Curran covers up for all of it. McKee spins a few kicks. McKee throws a kick toward Curran’s chin. Curran with a body kick and a leg kick. Crowd is restless again as we pass the three minute mark. Curran gets a takedown with just over 90 seconds to go. McKee is doing his best to throw elbows at his head off his back. He even manages to cut Curran open, who finally backs up to kick his legs instead. McKee did all the damage even after being taken down so that SHOULD be a 10-9 for McKee.
Round 3: McKee throws several hard left hands at 41 seconds. He unloads with another flurry at 2:10 and does connect with another good left, though Curran covered up for most of the blows. Curran throws a high kick that’s checked. McKee shoots at 2:56, Curran sprawls, then gets a knee to the body to boot. Another high kick is checked as the crowd boos at 3:27. Leg kick by Curran, flurry by McKee. Curran backs away from a right. McKee shoots Curran into the fence at 4:02, which gives us a good shot of how many kicks McKee put on his left leg. He finally gets the takedown at 4:28 as the blood trickles down the top of Curran’s head over his eyes. 10-9 McKee.
Final result: The judges score it 30-27 X2 and 30-26 all for A.J. McKee.
Jake Hager vs. T.J. Jones
Jones comes out to “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X with the blue gloves and black trunks with red trim on. His pro record to date in MMA is 1-1. Hager comes out to “Rooster” by Alice in Chains with the red gloves and silver trunks, and HIS pro record to date is 1-0. Hager is 6’5”, Jones is 6’1”, Hager’s reach is 81” and Jones’ is 72”. Jones fights out of Dodge City, Kansas. Hager fights out of Perry, Oklahoma. Our referee is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: A friendly tap of gloves opens the proceedings before they clinch and Hager takes him down and takes his back. Jones is warned not to grab the fence as Hager turns him over and moves toward side control. Hager finally gets it at 1:15. He may want an arm triangle choke but Jones has such a big belly he’s finding it hard to move across the body so he’s going for an americana instead. Jones survives it but he gives up his back. Hager starts throwing right hand uppercuts through the armpit. Jones is warned not to grab the fence again. Hager goes for the head and arm choke and Jones taps out at 2:36. Beltran is mad at Hager that he didn’t release the hold immediately and yells at Hager afterward.
Final result: Jake Hager wins via submission at 2:36 in round one.
Tywan Claxton vs. James Bennett
Bennett is 4-1 in the black trunks and blue gloves for tonight’s fight. “Air” Tywan Claxton is in silver trunks and red gloves with a perfect 4-0 record for this Featherweight fight. Claxton has a 73.5” to 67” reach advantage. Bennett fights out of Gages Lake, Illinois and Claxton out of Cleveland, Ohio. Kevin MacDonald is our referee.
Round 1: Glove tap to start. Claxton tries an early high kick. Body kick for Bennett at 33 seconds. Claxton clinches and takes him to the ground 11 seconds later with a leg trip. Bennet tries to reverse and in the scramble Claxton takes the back and starts unloading with right hands. Bennett stands up at 1:31 but gets dumped again. Bennett is going for a front headlock but Claxton easily gets out. Claxton smashes Bennett in the face with lefts and right hooks and this may not last long. Bennett gets up at 2:40 but gets slammed down high and hard, then eats a right elbow to the face. Blood is trickling from Bennett’s forehead as Claxton postures up to swing heavy hooks at the head with 90 seconds left. Claxton stands up at 3:55 to throw shots down the pipe and jumps back on top. Left hand hammerfists before Claxton stands back up. Blowout 10-8 round for Claxton.
Round 2: Claxton goes for the flying knee at 35 seconds and then takes side control on the ground. Bennett gets back to half guard but eats heavy left hammers before he moves Claxton to full guard. Even here Bennett is not safe from Claxton’s lefts and rights, particularly when he stands up and drops down with the elbows. “Claxton landing EVERYTHING” quips Mauro Ranallo. “Its a MUGGING!” He’s not wrong. These elbows are dicing Bennett up. Claxton looks into the camera and says “Whattup 50? Sign a check for me!!” Claxton stands up at 3:13 and we can see Curtis Jackson behind him smiling. Left elbows and left hands land at will. All Bennett can do is try to hold the posture and hang on. In doing so he stifles the offense for the last minute, so this one’s a 10-9 instead of a 10-8.
Round 3: Glove tap opens R3. Bennett sneaks in a left uppercut before Claxton throws a head kick. Right hook by Bennett before Claxton takes him down at 42 seconds. James Bennett goes for the head choke but he doesn’t have it and Claxton moves to full mount and then side control before Bennett recovers to half guard. A series of left elbows smash into Bennett’s head. MacDonald is taking a close look as Claxton pours on the damage at the two minute mark. He waves it off at 2:10.
Final result: Tywan Claxton via technical knockout at 2:09 of the third round.
Adil Benjilany vs. Cris Lencioni
Blue gloves and black trunks for Lencioni. Red gloves and black trunks for Benjilany. Lencioni is 3-2 out of Portland, Oregon. Benjilany is 5-1, 1 NC out of Morocco. Our referee in charge is Rob Madrigal.
Round 1: Lencioni gets a takedown at 16 seconds. He quickly moves to full mount and has the back mount at 1:11 throwing right hands under the armpit at Benjilany’s head. He’s warned to watch the back of the head as he goes so. Benjilany spins on top at 1:48 and both men stand back up. Benjilany hurts him with a right and Lencioni shoots but can’t get the takedown. He comes forward throwing wild looping shots and eats a clinch knee followed by a right hand. Lencioni goes for the takedown but Benilany gets right back up. Lencioni goes for a right leg as Benjilany hops to the fence but finally gets him down to half guard. Benjilany goes for a heel hook and even though he doesn’t get it he sweeps on top looking for ground and pound. Lencioni counters that into a potential triangle choke throwing elbows at Benjilany’s head with under 20 seconds left. Benjilany taps before the bell!
Final result: Cris Lencioni wins by triangle choke submission at 4:55 of round one.
Scott Writz vs. Josh Streacker
Blue gloves and black trunks for the 5-2 Streacker out of Chicago, Illinois. Red gloves and black trunks for the 2-0 Writz out of Wausau, Wisconsin. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Glove tap. The first leg kick goes to Writz. Streacker circles on the outside the pops off a left hook and moves to the center. Streacker tags Writz multiple times in the first minute when he tries to come forward. Writz lands a right hand at 1:10 and continues to use leg kicks. Streacker misses with a wild left as we pass the two minute mark. Writz is using forward pressure again but Streacker turns him around, throws a leg kick and scores a with a nice right hook. As Writz comes forward he pops him with combos and lands the hard left. Overhand left lands, right hits the shoulder, then Streacker throws a body shot. Hands and kicks for Streacker. Writz just keeps coming forward and finally lands a left but at the expense of taking one. High kicks and punches before the bell. 10-9 Streacker.
Round 2: Another glove tap. High right kick from Streacker to open. Writz kicks Streacker straight in the cup and he drops to his knees in pain forcing a timeout. Streacker lands a hard right at 1:10 after the restart. Streacker uses foot stomps to fake Writz out and make him move into range. Writz pops a jab into his face. Slip and rip by Streacker at 2:40 with a head kick to follow. Writz pops the jab again. Body kick, leg kick, hands. Streacker drops him with a right hand and batters him standing until it’s waved off once he falls down again.
Final result: Josh Streacker by knockout at 3:33 in the second round.
Bryan Bautista vs. Rob Fenicle
Blue gloves, black trunks, 1-0, Rockton, Illinois for Fenicle. Red gloves, red trunks, 1-0, Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Bautista. Our referee is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: No glove tap — instead a left hook from Fenicle. Bautista immediately gives chase and lands a right hook and a head kick followed by a knee to the body. Fenicle with a right and a leg kick but Bautista continues to walk him down and gets a front headlock looking for a guillotine but can’t complete it. Fenicle even lands a head kick on the exit. Bautista misses with his and is taken down. It ends up in a 50-50 position with both men going for heel hooks but Fenicle wins the war with the submission.
Final result: Rob Fenicle via submission (heel hook) at 1:42 in round one.
Chris Gonzalez vs. Charlie Radtke
Blue gloves, black trunks, 2-1 for Radtke out of Salem, Wisconsin. Red gloves, white trunks, 1-0 for Gonzalez out of Chicago, Illinois. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Glove tap to start. Radtke allegedly wrestles buffalo on his farm. Ranallo relishes telling us this fact as both men feel out the range for the first minute. Gonzalez gets knocked off balance but quickly pops back up. Radtke goes for a flying knee but gets taken down twice in response. Gonzalez keeps his arms around Radtke as he gets up against the fence with three minutes remaining. They break at 2:32. Gonzalez is unable to get another takedown but lands a nice right hook instead. He goes for a single leg gets Radtke high in the air and has another takedown. So much for Radtke and those buffalo. Gonzalez is using heavy pressure on top to keep Radtke in place so he can eventually posture up to throw some big bombs. 10-9 Gonzalez.
Round 2: Another glove tap. Leg kick for Gonzalez. Cartwheel kick follows. Gonzalez goes for a high single leg but Radtke throws some big right hands trying to block it. Gonzalez puts him against the cage and stomps on the feet before a takedown at 1:18. Radtke tries to wall walk but Gonzalez takes the back with both hooks in and over three minutes to work. Radtke tries to push off the fence with his feet to get free. Radtke is trying to throw backward punches but that’s opening up the potential to get a RNC. Radtke goes face down and Gonzalez goes for a face crank. Radtke escapes but he’s not out of danger as Gonzalez still has the hooks and the body lock from behind. One minute remains. Radtke survives but it’s a 10-8 for Gonzalez.
Round 3: Radtke comes forward trying to land with hands and his elbows. Right uppercut by Radtke. Gonzalez keeps his hands up and keeps circling to his right until he goes for a single leg. Radtke pulls free and throws a knee. Left hook for Radtke. Gonzalez dances to his left and Radtke throws more strikes. Radtke continues to fire away and Gonzalez goes for the single leg again. Radtke widens his stance but he’s taken down at 2:31. He gets back to one knee but Gonzalez is not letting go. Radtke finally pops up at 3:01 and tries to peel Gonzalez away. Gonzalez grabs the muay thai clinch to throw a knee then drops levels again. Radtke is upright at 3:34 and they break apart at 3:47. Radtke comes forward and Gonzalez is covering up. Radtke is taken down at 4:13. Radtke goes for a triangle off his back with short time left. Radtke wins the round 10-9 but Gonzalez will win the war.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 X3 all for Chris Gonzalez.
James Bochnovic vs. Robert Morrow
Blue gloves, black trunks, 28-24-1 out of Lockport, Illinois is Morrow. White trunks, red gloves, 9-4 out of Kenosha, Wisconsin is Bochnovic. Our referee is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Glove tap to start. Ranallo says both men fought at Heavyweight in the past and certainly move like it. Morrow goes for a left head kick. Bochnovic has a cut around his right eye where it crazed him. They get into a clinch for some dirty boxing and Morrow knocks him down with the left hands and gets the ground and pound POURED onto on him for the stoppage. Bochnovic is a bloody mess in the middle of the cage.
Final result: Robert Morrow wins via first round knockout at 1:18.
Adam Ward vs. Amartuvshin Khuukhenkhuu
Ward is 18-11 in the black trunks and red gloves fighting out of Chicago, Illinois. Khuukhenkhuu is 9-4 in the blue gloves and blue trunks hailing from Mongolia but fighting out of Schaumberg, Illinois. Our referee is Rob Madrigal.
Round 1: Ward immediately lands a leg kick and a right hand to the chin. Another right hand smacks Khuukhenkhuu at 18 seconds. Both spend the next minute feeling out the range but Ward continues to get the better of the exchanges. Big right by Ward at 1:52. Overhand right, push kick, but Khuukhenkhuu avoids the takedown and throws a head kick of his own. Ward with a left hook and a push kick. Khuukhenkhuu just keeps coming forward and trying to land the heavy looping right hand. Ward is bobbing and weaving to avoid the power and coming forward with an overhand right elbow. Counter right and body shots by Khuukhenkhuu. The longer the round goes the more they swing away. Left head kick by Ward with just over 30 seconds left. Push kick by Khuukhenkhuu. 10-9 Ward who screams “ALL DAY BABY” before R1 ends.
Round 2: Another big right hand by Ward at 14 seconds. Khuukhenkhuu with the leg kicks. Right cross by Ward as he backs Khuukhenkhuu up. Ward gets his arms up to block head strikes and throws a slashing right elbow. If this were a pro wrestling match you would say both men are “not selling” because no matter how many strikes land neither man seems to back up or back down. Khuukhenkhuu tunes up Ward at 3:38 with nearly every conceivable strike and Ward takes them all. Left hook from Ward lands twice. McCarthy wonders if Ward hurt his right hand. Khuukhenkhuu with a judo throw and a spinning back elbow. 10-9 Khuukhenkhuu.
Round 3: Ward is immediately moving forward at the bell but Khuukhenkhuu continues to land kicks and uppercuts. Right hook by Ward. Clashing leg kicks. Strong left hook smacks home for Khuukhenkhuu but two rights miss. Ward responds with the jab and the right. Speaking of pro wrestling Ranallo references Dusty Rhodes and says both men are looking for the PAY WINDAH IF YOU WEILL. Ward covers up at the halfway mark as Khuukhenkhuu bangs. Khuukhenkhuu has Ward on his back foot now moving to the right on the outside circle. Push kick for Khuukhenkhuu. Multiple leg kicks. Right cross for Khuukhenkhuu. Body leg combos by War with a right to the chin. 75 seconds left. Body shot and right hook seem to finally be hurting Ward. His energy is dissipating. Spinning back kick by Khuukhenkhuu. 30 seconds left. Khuukhenkhuu and Ward stand in front of each other and bang but Ward is again backpedaling at the bell. 10-9 Khuukhenkhuu.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 X3 for Khuukhenkhuu by unanimous decision.
Jose Leon vs. Christian Rodriguez
Both men are making their pro debut. Blue gloves and black trunks for Rodriguez out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Red gloves and black trunks for Leon out of Rockford, Illinois. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald. This is a 140 lb. catchweight fight due to Rodriguez missing weight.
Round 1: Glove tap to start. It’s up against the fence in 30 seconds. Rodriguez is working hard for the takedown and he gets it and quickly has side control. Rodriguez goes knee on belly and then pins down one arm with a knee to throw elbows. Full mount at 1:50 and Leon is taking multiple unchecked left hands to the face. Leon is in survival mode and is being warned not to grab the fence with his toes. More slashing elbows at 2:45 as Rodriguez goes to full mount again. Leon gives up his back with two minutes left and MacDonald sees him covering up and not fighting back. A huge right elbow misses and Rodriguez goes for an armbar instead. Leon desparately hangs onto his own arm trying not to get submitted. Rodriguez takes the back with a body triangle and spins to a full mount on top then sweeps to the side for an arm triangle. Rodriguez lets it go and goes for the armbar again and this time he gets the submission quickly!
Final result: Christian Rodriguez via submission (armbar) at 4:39 of round one.
Dave Latoria vs. Jason Belyew
Belyew is in the blue gloves and black trunks, 0-1, fighting out of Chicago, Illinois. Latoria is in the red gloves and brown trunks and makes his pro debut tonight out of Rosemont, Illinois. The referee is Rob Madrigal.
Round 1: Glove tap to start. Belyew with a leg kick at 20 seconds. He clinches up for a takedown and the big men crash into the fence. He gets turned around, gets a hard left knee to the groin and a big right hand drops him to the mat while he’s wincing in pain before Madrigal can step in for the foul. Latoria apologizes profusely to the crowd and comes over to give his opponent a hug. This one’s over.
Final result: The fight is a no contest as Belyew was unable to continue.
Joey Diehl vs. Jesse Bazzi
Blue gloves and white trunks for Bazzi, 9-6 out of Detroit, Michigan. Red gloves and black trunks for Diehl, 12-9 out of Algonquin, Illinois. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: Glove tap. Bazzi quickly starts firing away and making Diehl back up toward the fence. Diehl keeps circling and pushing back into range throwing hard strikes. Bazzi tries to find the right angle and use body shots. Diehl responds with a high kick that’s checked. Both men exchange blows at the halfway point. Bazzi with a body kick and left to the gut. Right hand uppercut hurts Diehl. Bazzi shoots at 3:02. Diehl escapes but eats strikes on the exit. Bazzi covers up to avoid strikes then knocks Diehl down while he’s off balance. Bazzi backs up and forces Diehl to stand up. 10-9 Bazzi.
Round 2: Bazzi charges ahead again to open R2. He connects with a leg kick at 50 seconds. Diehl tries to find a home for his left hand but eats a kick just above the belt line. Left hook by Bazzi as he backs Diehl up. Bazzi seems to have the left cocked and ready to fire at any second. Diehl lands a counter left but Bazzi just keeps coming. His kicks are also bruising Diehl’s lead left leg. Good counter left by Diehl at 3:22. Even though Diehl lands the occasional good counter it will be hard to win rounds backing up. Bazzi gets Diehl down then forces another standup. 10-9 Bazzi.
Round 3: Diehl opens R3 more aggressively and lands a right hand before Bazzi starts him moving backward again with his fistick wizardry. Diehl gets knocked down and stood back up again. Diehl misses with a high front kick. Two minutes gone. Diehl tries a jump knee. He tries it again at 2:14. Bazzi with a left to the body and the right uppercut. Liver kick and body shots by Bazzi. Leg kick Bazzi. Diehl just hasn’t been able to figure Bazzi out at any point during this fight. Diehl keeps his right hand held high but never finds a home for it and keeps moving backward. Diehl keeps going body head body and scoring damage. It’s one more 10-9 round for Bazzi.
Final result: Jesse Bazzi wins via unanimous decision of 30-27 X3.