It all goes down TONIGHT (Sat., May 11, 2019) at Bellator 221: “Chandler vs. Pitbull” from inside Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The Lightweight title is up for grabs as division champion Michael Chandler (19-4) puts his title up against Featherweight champion Patricio Freire (28-4) as he moves up to 155 pounds.
Chandler has not lost a fight since his fluke injury at Bellator 180 back in 2017; coincidentally, “Pitbull” can say the same about his 2016 fight with Benson Henderson. Aside from the fact they are in different weight classes it would feel like they’ve been on a collision course this whole time. Despite their respective setbacks, both have gone on to dominate their divisions and become multiple-time world champions in Bellator.
An intriguing aspect of this match up is that both men are on the smaller size compared to their divisional rivals. “Pitbull” is only 5’5” with a 65-inch reach, while “Iron Mike” is 5’8” with a 69-inch reach. In other words, they are much closer in stature to each other than most of their challengers for the world title. As the old cliche goes, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. Both men are ferocious and have one-punch knockout striking power.
A Welterweight Grand Prix semifinal shares the spotlight as the undefeated Michael “Venom” Page (14-0) takes on two-time Welterweight champion “Phenom” Douglas Lima (30-7). While they are only a year apart in age, there’s a wealth of experience under Lima’s record that “MVP” doesn’t come close to matching. Page however is a highlight-reel sensation with some of the flashiest and most spectacular finishes you’ll ever see.
Speaking of undefeated fighters, Featherweight ace “Mercenary” A.J. McKee (13-0) is ready to prove he’s a contender for “Pitbull,” going up against former two-time world champion Pat Curran (23-7). Curran isn’t to be underestimated in this opportunity as he is currently on a three fight win streak, but McKee has knocked out five and submitted four of his 13 opponents. Like the aforementioned Page, he’s a spectacular in-ring showman.
While former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) professional wrestler Jake Hager (“Jack Swagger”) deserves his due for eschewing the squared circle to step into cage fighting; however, his last opponent was woefully unprepared for a man of Hager’s size with a legitimate amateur wrestling background. It doesn’t appear that the 1-1 T.J Jones will fare much better given he last fought in 2015 and was finished in just 46 seconds. It’s one thing to build up a star by giving him fights he can win, it’s another thing to give him fights he absolutely can’t lose.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
Everything outlined above is what Bellator first announced back in February. Tywan Claxton vs. James Bennett was a late addition to the main card ... and that’s about it. We have escaped the injury bug and avoided the dreaded last hour hernia all the way to this point, so please feel free to knock on wood as you read this paragraph if you’re a superstitious fella. Other than that, we’re in for an exciting card where even the “not hot” fights could over-deliver, with a small chance that Hager delivers such a spectacular knockout or submission that it gets people talking despite being such a huge mismatch.
Take a look below at Bellator 221’s complete fight card lineup and start times below:
Main Card (DAZN) — 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio Freire
Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page
A.J. McKee vs. Pat Curran
Jake Hager vs. T.J. Jones
Tywan Claxton vs. James Bennett
“Prelims” Undercard (DAZN) — 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT
Adil Benjilany vs. Cris Lencioni
Scott Writz vs. Josh Streacker
Bryan Bautista vs. Rob Fenicle
Chris Gonzalez vs. Charlie Radtke
James Bochnovic vs. Robert Morrow
Adam Ward vs. Amartuvshin Khuukhenkhuu
Jose Leon vs. Christian Rodriguez
Dave Latoria vs. Jason Belyew
Joey Diehl vs. Jesse Bazzi
Here are all the ways to catch the action:
- Bellator 221: “Chandler vs. Pitbull” early “Prelims” can be viewed on DAZN via your MAC/PC, smartphone, or multiple other streaming devices.
- Subscriptions cost $9.99 per month for new app members eager to catch “Chandler vs. Pitbull” later this evening.
- Bellator 221 will be streamable online via DAZN. That’s it! Sign up today if you don’t want to miss “Chandler vs. Pitbull” in an epic title fight.
- Dave & Buster’s is the official sports bar of Bellator MMA, but as this card is a DAZN exclusive, I wouldn’t guarantee they are carrying it. Nevertheless for a list of locations across the United States to find one in your area CLICK HERE.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Bellator 221 fight card, starting with DAZN “Prelims” undercard bouts at 6:30 p.m. ET before the main card start time at 9 p.m. ET also on DAZN.