Michael Chandler vs Patricio Freire: A Tale of Two Champions

MMA fans are in for a treat this Saturday. Michael Chandler and Patricio Freire will fight each other for the Bellator Lightweight World Champion on May 11, at Bellator 221 at the Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois.

The match-up will be a feast for the eyes for those who tune in to watch. Both Chandler and Freire are two of Bellator’s hottest prospects, and perhaps rank among the greatest fighters in the world.

Michael Chandler has proven himself to be Bellator’s biggest star. After his first fight in 2010, Chandler has gone on to win the Bellator Lightweight World Champion title three times.

Chandler’s fist title win came against Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 50, in 2011. However, his title defense against Alvarez was not so successful. He lost the title to Alvarez at Bellator 106 in 2013.

Chandler’s (19-4) second title reign began in 2016, after his fight with Patricky Freire. Following the fight, the two exchanged harsh words on social media. Patricky’s brother, Patricio, went as far as blaming Chandler for using performance-enhancing drugs.

“He’s done this all by doping. He knows it. He knows he just needs to be random tested and you’ll see. That’s it.”

However, Chandler was more than happy to settle their disputes inside the cage.

“He’s never been quite friendly. He’s always known that I — well, first of all, I beat his brother within the first two years or year I was in Bellator. So, he had that against me. Then I beat him again a couple of years later. So he’s always had that animosity against me. Now, after some of the things that he’s said, I’m ready to go shut him up.”

In 2017, Chandler gave up the title after a leg injury in a fight against Brent Primus. However, he regained the title in December, 2018, winning the Bellator 212 main event. After he reclaimed the lightweight championship, he became the title holder for a third time.

Michael Chandler has bested most of fighters in his division. A list of his opponents includes Benson Henderson, Goiti Yamauchi, Patricky Freire, and Eddie Alvarez. However, this will be Chandler’s first fight against Patricio Freire.

Hailing from Brazil, Freire is a two-time featherweight champion. With remarkable wins over Daniel Weichel, Daniel Straus, and Pat Curran, Freire continued his impressive streak against Emmanuel Sanchez, whom he beat via unanimous decision at the Bellator 209.

Climbing a weight class for the first time since Bellator 160, Pitbull plans to leave his mark in the new division. He intends to become one of the greatest players of all time. With 20 professional wins, Freire excites fans, who want to see him become the simultaneous champion in two divisions. However, Pitbull claims that he did not move up to have the belt. He has moved up to have “Chandler’s head”, and a win over him.

After much back and forth, the two will finally lock horns inside the Bellator cage this Saturday, May 11, 2019. Unlike Pitbull, Chandler is more interested in showcasing his hard work.

“I can honestly say that what I have put my body through in training, and the lifestyle choice that I’ve made over the last 11 weeks, is something that the very top one percent of people do. I am willing to make those sacrifices because I am willing to be the best.”