Michael Chandler Meets Patricio Freire In Champ vs. Champ Superfight


Bellator has one of its biggest possible fights set. According to a report from ESPN, lightweight champion Michael Chandler meets Patricio Freire in a champ vs. champ superfight at May 11’s Bellator 221.

Ariel Helwani reported Freire will move up from 145 pounds to challenge Chandler at the event from Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The bout has not yet been officially announced by the promotion. It is expected to be in the coming days, however.

With the announcement, Bellator will have their next superfight amid a growing trend in mixed martial arts. Such bouts have been all the rage in the UFC over the past couple years. Bellator staged a champ vs. champ fight when Rory MacDonald moved up to middleweight to take on champ Gegard Mousasi last year. Ryan Bader recently became the promotion’s first simultaneous two-division champ by knocking out Fedor Emelianenko on Jan. 26.

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As for the Chandler vs. Freire feud, the war of words has been brewing for years. It began when Chandler knocked out Patricio’s brother Patricky in 2016. Patricio scaled the cage and got in Chandler’s face during his celebration to call him out. The two began a long battle on social media. Yet the fighter was never booked until now. Chandler recently won back his lightweight title from Brent Primus in December. Freire defended his featherweight title in November.

Bellator 221 is slated to be a massive event for MMA’s second son. In addition to Chandler vs. Freire, Douglas Lima will face the winner of this weekend’s welterweight grudge match between Michael “Venom” Page and Paul Daley at Bellator 216 this weekend. Bellator 221 will also reportedly feature the return of former WWE star Jake Hager, who made his MMA debut at Bellator 214.