Michael Chandler Seeks Redemption After Controversial Stoppage

Michael Chandler may hold two victories over Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, but Patricky’s brother Patricio exacted a measure of revenge at Bellator 221 on Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

It was champion vs champion in the main event. Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler, 19-4, of Nashville, TN took on Bellator Featherweight Champion Patricio “PitBull” Freire, 28-4, of Brazil. There was bad blood between the two fighters throughout the promotion because Chandler had beaten his older brother Patricky twice.

In combat sports a good big fighter usually beats a good smaller fighter but here it was different. Everyone expected a firefight was going to take place between the two fighters and no one anticipated such a short one. As the bell sounded, both guys were ready to hurl. Less than a minute into the fight, Pitbull landed a right hook that hurt and dropped Michael Chandler.

Seeing an opportunity, Pitbull jumped on Chandler, landing a few shots to the side of Chandler’s head. This brought referee Rob Madrigal to stop the fight. As the ref stopped the fight, Chandler could be seen getting up. He seemed OK, but it was too little too late. It was a controversial stoppage for sure, since this was a championship fight. Either way it was a good win for Pitbull, with a TKO  at 1:01.

Pitbull now has both the Bellator Featherweight and Lightweight titles and he becomes the second fighter in Bellator to do this. Ryan Bader holds the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight titles. Afterwards in the post-fight conference, Pitbull stated he is not sure about going back down to Featherweight or staying at Lightweight. When he asked about a rematch with Chandler, he said he would like to see his brother get another shot with Chandler instead.

While Freire joined Ryan Bader as the only simultaneous two-division champ in Bellator, Chandler is already seeking a rematch. The 33-year-old has long been one of the faces of the promotion, and he has been able to win seven of his last eight bouts. Chandler is confident he will eventually get what he wants.

Michael Chandler said:

“I’m the fighter, the promoters will promote. I think you’re going to see an overwhelming majority of people that are going to want to see a rematch. I think Bellator’s probably going to want to see a rematch. Of course I want the rematch.

“Whether you’re in the camp that thinks it was an early stoppage or not, I’m not going to sit up here and rant and rave about all of that. You could’ve had 10,000 different refs in there and had it go 10,000 different ways or on the other side. … Patricio ‘Pitbull’ will step back in the cage with me, it’s just a matter of when.”