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Lima, Pitbull score huge knockouts at Bellator 221

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It was a good night for the Bellator OG’s. Well, most of them.

Knowing that they were going up against UFC 237, Bellator MMA brought out the big guns for Bellator 221, coming from Allstate Arena in Chicago and exclusively on DAZN. And for once, the underdogs delivered.

In the main event, Bellator presented a legitimate superfight with lightweight champion Michael Chandler defending his title against featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull, the two winningest fighters in the company’s history. It was a matchup that seemed to have more bad blood as the fight got closer, with escalating trash talk, especially given Chandler’s wins against Patricio’s brother Patricky. But it took all of sixty-one seconds for Patricio’ to avenge his family name, stopping Chandler in the first round to cement himself as Bellator’s second two division titleholder.

Both men came out striking in the center of the cage and immediately Patricio started catching Chandler with overhand right hands. He landed several within the first minute of the fight and before Chandler could adjust, an overhand right over Chandler’s jab landed behind the ear, dropping the defending lightweight champion. Patricio followed Chandler to the mat and landed some ground and pound and referee Rob Madrigal stopped the fight at 1:01 of Round 1.

The stoppage did seem a little quick as Chandler was up and moving and seemed clear once the referee had jumped in. But it seems clear that Chandler was stunned and very hurt, and a shot from Patricio may have actually woken him up. Whatever happens, the longtime champ was not responding, and the ref had no choice.

The win cements Patricio as not only both the featherweight and lightweight champion, but also the winningest fighter in Bellator history. A rematch feels evitable given the controversy, but Patricio will have plenty of options in either divisions.

In the co-main event, which was also the first semifinal of Bellator’s welterweight Grand Prix, Douglas Lima notched what feels like a shoo-in for knockout of the year, turning out the lights of Michael Venom Page in the second round, ensuring the fall of Bellator’s most ballyhooed hype job.

MVP came out stalking Lima with a wide stance, but neither man seemed inclined to start the action. Lima threw a few hard leg kicks, but two minutes in, MVP threw a superman punch that landed, but Lima closed the distance and got a takedown. MVP managed to secure guard and used great wrist control to survive the round with minimal damage.

The British Striker came out putting more pressure in the second and launched a few flying knees that seemed to just miss. MVP did land a right hand that stunned Lima, his best strike of the fight, but when he went to follow up with another right hand, Lima landed devastating leg kick that dropped Page. As Page was coming to his feet, Lima nailed his exposed foe with a right uppercut and MVP was out before he hit the ground. A few hammerfists landed before Mike Beltran could jump in and stop the fight.

The win puts Lima in the finals of the Welterweight Grand Prix and guarantees him a title shot against the winner of next month’s fight between champion Rory McDonald and Neiman Gracie. If Lima can win that, it will be the end of an incredible comeback story and cement as the best fighter of his generation outside the UFC…

"Frank has been a wrestling fan since he was two years old. (Don't worry, he's got proof.) He's also a huge boxing and UFC fan and has a long standing love affair with Popeyes Chicken. He still owns a VHS copy of the first Ring of Honor show ever and was watching NXT before it was cool (or good). Bret Hart > Shawn Michaels. You can follow him on Twitter at @FightFanaticPod and on Tumblr at FrankTheFightFanatic." He's also starting his own podcast soon!

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