Michael “Iron” Chandler and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire – Origins

MMA fans all over the world are anticipating Saturday Night’s fight as one of the biggest in Bellator’s decade-long run. The face-off between Iron (Michael Chandler) and Pitbull (Patricio Freire) has been a long time coming.

The two will meet at a historic showdown at Bellator 221 this Saturday. Let’s dive into their past and see the paths each took to evolve into the fighters they are today.

Michael Chandler – The Iron

Born second, amongst four, in High Ridge Missouri in April 1986, Chandler was a natural from the start. His hard work put him on the Honor Roll throughout high school. It also got him multiple letters in football, and made him a favorite in wrestling during his senior season.

While majoring in Personal Finance Management from the University of Missouri, Chandler continued wrestling. He went on to collect a total of 100 career wins in wrestling as an NCAA qualifier. During his four year program, he made a record of 31-15 against the. Big 12. He had an overall record of 100-40.

Chandler began training in MMA after graduating. Soon, he made his professional debut in August 2009 against Kyle Swadley, with a TKO victory.

Patricio Freire – The Pitbull

Freire was born in July 1987, in the capital of Rio Grande do Norte. Conscious of his small build, Freire jumped into combat sports early. He began training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 10. By the time he got to his teens, he was training alongside MMA stars like Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua.

At sixteen, Freire debuted professionally. He went on to compete in his native Brazil for the first five years of his career. He had a record of 12-0 before he had even made his American debut in April 2010. By that time, Freire was among the top fighters outside of America.

Bellator 221

Now it looks like both these fighters are made for this! Interestingly enough, both have won their last three fights. Chandler’s latest victory came against Brent Primus at Bellator 212 while Freire won against Emmanuel Sanchez at Bellator 209. And after 221, one of them is going to see some red in that green line they’ve had for the last three matches. Who do you think it’s going to be?