Bellator 221 from Rosemont, Illinois was a night filled with fireworks for the Viacom owned mixed martial arts promotion.
It’s fair to say that Bellator 221 was one of the more anticipated cards of the year so far from the second largest North American MMA promotion. Whether you were tuning in to watch Michael Chandler defend his lightweight title against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire or you were looking forward to the matchup between Douglas Lima and Michael “Venom” Page, Bellator 221 was loaded with fun attractions.
Let’s take a look at who did themselves the biggest favors over the weekend.
Biggest Winners From Bellator 221
AJ McKee Jr.
If AJ McKee Jr. was not on your radar before he darn sure should be now.
The 24-year-old featherweight phenom improved to 14-0 over the weekend with a win over a Chicago native and former Bellator champ Pat Curran. During his post-fight scrum, McKee continued to push for a featherweight title fight against Patricio “Pitbull”. It remains to be seen if that is the fight matchmakers want to book, however, with the featherweight tournament looming on the horizon things should heat up this summer for Bellator.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire
With his stunning victory over Michael Chandler at Bellator 221, “Pitbull” becomes only the second double-champ in Bellator MMA’s history, joining light heavyweight & heavyweight champ Ryan Bader.
The win cements Patricio’s place in Bellator lore as the most accomplished fighter in the promotion’s history. It’s unclear at this point if he will defend both titles or relinquish the newly won lightweight strap and focus on the upcoming featherweight grand prix.
Either way “Pitbull” was a massive winner over the weekend.
Lima is a man on a mission. He wants his welterweight title back and now thanks to his unbelievable Bellator 221 knockout of “MVP” he will get that chance.
Although Lima stamped his ticket to the welterweight grand prix finale last weekend he must still wait to find out who he will be facing. He will either face the dark horse in the tournament Neiman Gracie or Lima will get his preferred rematch against Rory MacDonald.
Although he lost to Jake Hager at Bellator 221, TJ Jones might have come away from last weekend with the most to gain going forward.
No one knew who Jones was prior to last week’s media day and now Bellator President Scott Coker is tweeting to the fans asking them if they would like to see Jones back in the Bellator cage. As you may have guessed the overwhelming response was YES: bring TJ Jones back. After all, he does have six kids to feed and that’s not cheap.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/13/2019.