Bellator MMA makes its way to the AllState Arena in Rosemont, Illinois for Bellator 221. The main features a champion vs. champion bout. Michael Chandler puts his Bellator lightweight title on the line against current Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire.
After losing the title to Brent Primus at Bellator 180 due to doctor’s stoppage, Michael Chandler has rattled off three straight wins. His most recent victory was at Bellator 212 where defeated Brent Primus via unanimous decision to win the lightweight title. The other two wins were against Brandon Girtz at Bellator 197 and Goiti Yamauchi at Bellator 192. At thirty-three years of age, the Bellator veteran will make the walk for the twenty-fourth time. He has nineteen career wins; fourteen ended inside the distance.
Patricio Freire is 4-1 over his previous five fights and 3-0 in his last three. Freire won the Bellator featherweight title when he defeated Daniel Straus via submission in the second round at Bellator 178. His most recent victory occurred at Bellator 209 where he decisioned Emmanual Sanchez. The Brazilian born fighter will make the walk for the thirty-third time when he steps into the cage opposite Chandler. Of his twenty-eight career wins, eight went to the judge’s scorecards.
The co-main takes place in the Bellator welterweight division where undefeated Michael Page goes up against Douglass Lima. The last time we saw Michael “Venom” Page in the cage was at Bellator 216 where he beat Paul Daly via unanimous decision in a very lackluster fight. The thirty-two-year-old boasts eleven finishes in his fourteen career wins. This is a big step-up in the level of competition and a win against Lima will the biggest of the English born fighter’s career.
Former Bellator welterweight champion Douglass Lima will make the walk for the thirty-eighth time. After winning the title by beating Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 164, Lima successfully defended it when he beat Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision at Bellator 180. Larkin came into the fight with a ton of hype after making the jump to Bellator from the UFC and Lima made it look easy. However, “The Phenom” dropped the title at Bellator 192 when Rory MacDonald beat him via unanimous decision. The Brazilian born fighter has twenty-five finishes in his thirty career victories.
The main card also includes undefeated AJ McKee taking on Bellator veteran Pat Curran, Jake Hager looks to make it two in a row when faces journeyman TJ Jones and Tywan Claxton looks to stay perfect against James Bennett.
Note: The predictions in this column do not necessarily mean that I will be betting them. I have changed my mind in the past and gone the other way after conducting more research. For all of my official bets follow me on Twitter @MichaelGrocke.
Michael Chandler (19-4) vs. Patricio Freire (28-4) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Current Odds: Chandler -200; Freire +180
Pick: Chandler by decision.
Douglass Lima (30-7) vs. Michael Page (14-0) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Current Odds: Lima -300; Page +250
Pick: Lima by decision.
AJ McKee (13-0) vs. Pat Curran (23-7) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: McKee -300; Curran +250
Pick: McKee by decision.
Jake Hager (1-0) vs. TJ Jones (1-1) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Hager -1520; Jones +950
Pick: Hager by submission.
Tywan Claxton (4-0) vs. James Bennett (3-0) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: Claxton -1500; Bennett +900
Pick: Claxton by (T)KO.
Prelims Quick Picks
Streacker over Ritz
Diehl over Bazzi
Latoria over Belyew
Benjilany over Lencioni
Gonzalez over Radke
Bochnovic over Morrow
Askar over Moore
Leon over Rodriguez
Khuukhenkhuu over Ward
Fenicle over Bautista
Enjoy the fights!