Just weeks removed from Ryan Bader adding the heavyweight strap to a trophy cabinet which already holds their light heavyweight title, Bellator MMA are going down the route of potentially having another ‘champ champ’ among their ranks.
Michael Chandler, who regained Bellator’s lightweight title from Brent Primus in December, will face the promotion’s featherweight king, Freire, at Bellator 221 on May it has been reported by ESPN. The bout, which will be for the lightweight title, is expected to be confirmed by Bellator officials in coming days.
This comes after a middleweight title bout last year between Gegard Mousasi and welterweight champion Rory MacDonald.
Both Chandler and Freire are Bellator mainstays and, curiously, have both posted 16-4 records during their time with the organisation. Chandler, a three-time lightweight champion, is one of the faces of the company and has posted wins over the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Benson Henderson and Primus over the course of his nine year career.
Another interesting wrinkle is that Chandler holds a win over Freire’s brother Patricky by first round KO in a previous title bout at 155-pounds.
Younger brother Patricio has earned wins against Daniel Straus, Pat Curran and most recently, Emmanuel Sanchez, during his Bellator run.
Elsewhere on the same card, AJ McKee will get the toughest test of his young career when he faces Pat Curran and Jake Hager will return for his second outing in mixed martial arts.