Join us tonight (Saturday, May 11) on Bloody Elbow for live results and detailed play-by-play as Bellator 221 comes to you from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
Bellator 221 boasts a rare champion vs. champion fight, the first semi-final bout of the Welterweight Grand Prix, the next chapter in the Jack Hager experiment, and a number of key prospects. This weekend’s Bellator event has flown under the radar, especially with UFC 237 on the horizon, but this show is an important showcase for the promotion. In recent years, Bellator has relied on legends and stars with existing name value to top their card.
Bellator 221 is a culmination of homegrown talent at their best. The main event features a champion vs. champion grudge match as Michael Chandler defends his lightweight title against featherweight champion Patricio Freire, the latter of whom looks to avenge his brother Patricky’s two losses to Chandler. The long-hyped Michael Page will face the single biggest challenge of his MMA career against former welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
Bellator mainstays A.J. McKee and Pat Curran clash on the main card and former WWE world-heavyweight champion Hager (Jack Swagger) continues to get reps in against T.J. Jones. Finally, touted featherweight prospect Tywan Claxton looks to build momentum at the expense of James Bennett in the main card opener.
You can watch the Bellator 221 prelims at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT in the video player below. Main card action then takes place exclusively on DAZN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, or on Sky Sports if you’re in the United Kingdom.
Here’s the full fight card:
Main card (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)
Michael Chandler vs. Patricio Freire
Round 1 - No surprise the fighters did not touch gloves for this grudge match. Both men with their guards high. Freire throws the first flurry but Chandler moves out of the way. Freire catches Chandler on the way in. Freire knocks Chandler down with a counter right hook over the guard. ! Chandler is turtled and Freire takes the back. He starts firing unanswered punches. The referee stops the fight and Chandler immediately stands up. He is protesting the stoppage but Chandler was face down and didn’t block a number of ground-and-pound punches.
Official result: Patricio Freire def. Michael Chandler via KO (punches) at 1:01 of round 1
Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page
Round 1 - Page immediately rushes with a multi-shot combination. Lima blocks it and fires a looping counter punch but Page is long gun. Page with his hands low, bouncing and using a lot of creative footwork. Lima throws a naked leg kick and Page counters with a jab. Page moves in for a jab and Lima scores a genius take down. He intertwined their legs and scored a nice trip as Page tried to move back. Lima is postured up and Page holds onto the wrist. We sit in the guard for a couple of minutes and that’s the round. 10-9 Page.
Round 2 - Page throws a spinning hook kick and it whiffs. Page throws a right hand and it hurts Lima. Page moves in and Lima kicks his leg out from underneath him. Lima throws an uppercut as Page gets up and MVP is out cold! Two hammer fists punctuate the KO. What a sequence!
Official result: Douglas Lima def. Michael Page via KO (punch) at 0:35 of round 2
A.J. McKee vs. Pat Curran
Round 1 - McKee holds the center line. He looks very calm. Woah! He throws up a spinning wheel kick but Curran is nowhere to be found. A nice body kick from McKee. He throws a head-kick but it’s blocked. Curran throws a big hook but it misses. McKee throws another spinning hook kick but it misses. Curran throws a leg kick up close and McKee lands a quick double leg takedown. McKee has Curran up against the cage. Curran pushes off McKee’s hips and gets to his feet. Back to the center we go. A jab to a spinning back fist whiffs for McKee. Both fighters throw a kick and Curran slips. McKee rushes and throws a multi-shot combination as Curran stands up. 10-9 McKee.
Round 2 - Another slow round as the two fighters trade kicks, half of which miss. Nice left liver kick by McKee. McKee throws a kick attempt and follows it with a spinning kick to the body. Some leg kicks from Curran. The crowd boos the fighters’ inactivity. Curran launches and scores a double leg take down. McKee is very active from the bottom, throwing up sharp elbows. McKee’s chest is splattered with his opponent’s blood. Curran back to his feet and McKee lands a nice up-kick. Curran with some chopping leg kicks. That’s round two. 10-9 McKee.
Round 3 - Curran throws a leg kick and McKee responds with a flurry that Curran blocked. The lack of activity has made this writer’s job very easy. McKee gets in close and pushes Curran against the cage. McKee manages to take his opponent down. Curran is sitting against the fence as McKee tries to secure a better position. 10-9 McKee.
Official result: A.J. McKee def. Pat Curran via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Jake Hager vs. T.J. Jones
Round 1 - A high-five to get us started. Hager throws a double jab and rushes in for the takedown. He works a little and scores a takedown off the body lock. Hager is on Jones’ back and starts throwing shots at the turtled fighter. Hager is hunting a kimura on the far side. He switches to an Americana from side control. Jones turns to his stomach and escapes the submission attempts. Hager has his opponent turtled against and is reigning more strikes. Jones turns to his back and Hager locked in an arm triangle during the transition. He sinks it in and Jones taps almost immediately. Referee Mike Beltran is trying to pry Swagger off but the former WWE star won’t let go of the choke! He finally lets go after about three seconds and Beltran is pissed.
Official result: Jake Hager def. T.J. Jones by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:36 of round 1
Tywan Claxton vs. James Bennett
Round 1 - Claxton gets the body lock and trips Bennett against the cage. Bennett scrambles and tries to take Claxton down! The two scramble again but Claxton gets around the back with Bennett turtled. Claxton, as expected, has the wrestling advantage. Bennett tries for a guillotine but not much on it. Claxton has Bennett tied up against the cage and clocks him with good bunches. They get back to their feet but Claxton dumps him again. Claxton postures up in the guard and lands some thudding ground-and-pound. 10-8 Claxton.
Round 2 - Claxton misses with a long one-two and throws a head kick that just grazes Bennett. Claxton explodes with a jumping knee! Bennett is on the backfoot and falls over. Bennett is still with it, using his guard to try and slow down his opponent. Claxton postures up and starts throwing looping ground-and-pound. Bennett moves his head to try and survive. Bennett tries to scramble and eats some hammer fists for his efforts. The round ends with an attempted hook kick from Claxton that lands him on his butt. 10-8 Claxton.
Round 3 - Round three starts and Bennett looks to be the aggressor. He throws some good strikes but Claxton backs him up to the cage. Bennett gets his arms wrapped underneath Bennet’s butt, lifts him and dumps him. Claxton lands in side control. Bennett has the neck but can’t do anything from that position. Claxton secures full mount and starts reigning strikes. Claxton is throwing elbow after elbow and Bennett is only partially blocking them. The referee calls the fight because Bennett just isn’t offering enough offense.
Official result: Tywan Claxton def. James Bennett by TKO at 2:09 of round 3
Undercard (Online, 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT)
Rob Finical def. Bryan Bautista via submission (heel-hook) at 1:42 of round 1
Amartuvshin Khuukhenkhuu def. Adam Ward via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Christian Rodriguez def. Jose Leon via submission (armbar) at 4:39 of round 1
Robert Morrow def. James Bochnovic via KO (punches) at 1:18 of round 1
Chris Gonzalez def. Charlie Radtke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cris Lencioni def. Adil Benjilany via submission (triangle choke) at 4:55 of round 1
*Dave Latoria vs. Jason Belyew ends in a no-contest (unintentional low blow)
Jesse Bazzi def. Joey Diehl via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Josh Streacker def. Scott Writz via KO (punch) at 3:33 of round 2
*Latoria unintentionally kneed Belyew in the groin and subsequently knocked him out cold with a punch.