Bellator returns to Chicago for one of their best cards in recent history. The main event of the evening pits champion against champion in a title match where lightweight kingpin Michael Chandler defends his belt against featherweight titleholder Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. The welterweight grand prix continues in the co-main event, where former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima takes on undefeated human highlight reel Michael “Venom” Page.
Chandler -220 vs. Pitbull +185
Michael Chandler has twice fought—and beaten—Patricky Freire, but this will be the first time that he’s faced Patricky’s brother, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Pitbull is trying to become a two-division champion against probably the most well-rounded fighter on the Bellator roster. Chandler is a -220 favorite here, but that is likely as narrow as a favorite as Chandler would be against anyone at lightweight. Outside of a fluke and two losses to people not on the roster anymore, Chandler has run roughshod through the division.
People may sleep on Pitbull a bit coming into this fight, but he is not nearly the “punchers chance” fighter in this one that many people are making him out to be. He has a well-rounded game and can easily capitalize if Chandler makes a mistake. However, the Chandler of early 2019 simply does not make those mistakes.
It’s going to be a battle, but Chandler will take the victory by decision.
Lima -240 vs. Page +205
Michael Page’s level of competition continues to increase. Following wins over David Rickels and Paul Daley, the Brit now meets former champion Douglas Lima. The contest is a semifinal bout in the Bellator welterweight grand prix. This is a whole new world for Venom.
Page faces a much different test when he steps in against Lima. Rickels and Daley don’t have the areas of strength needed to beat Page: the ground. Lima will shoot early and often and have Venom fighting off his back for a majority of the fight. Lima should have no interest in standing and trading with Page, and he has the skill to dictate where this fight occurs.
Lima’s most recent losses came against Rory MacDonald, Andrey Koreshkov and Ben Askren. That’s two former Bellator welterweight champions and the current titleholder. All three of these men excel in the grappling department. When Lima has been the better grappler, he has won. He will be the better grappler by far against Page.
The narrative is plain here. Lima gets Page to the ground, and after minutes (or rounds) on his back, Page gets desperate. That will allow the BJJ technician to lock in a submission and end this one before it goes to the judges.