Fight Facts: Bellator 221

By: Jay Pettry
May 14, 2019

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Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Bellator MMA on Saturday returned to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, for the third time in three years. Bellator 221 featured the rise of the organization’s second two-division champion, an undefeated fighter who can’t buy a title shot and the biggest betting favorite in over walking away victorious.

CHAMPITY CHAMP: By finishing lightweight king Michael Chandler in the first round, featherweight champion Patricio Freire became the second simultaneous two-division titleholder in Bellator history. Ryan Bader was the first and still holds the light heavyweight and heavyweight championships.

FIRST IS THE WORST, SECOND IS THE BEST: The 61-second stoppage of Chandler gave Freire the fourth-fastest knockout in Bellator championship history. As Bader won his second belt by knocking out Fedor Emelianenko in 35 seconds, both fighters have earned their second simultaneous title by first-round knockout.

NECK AND NECK: Freire broke his tie with Chandler to become the winningest fighter in organizational history, earning his 17th win inside a Bellator cage.

HOME OF THE ‘PITBULL’: Both Chandler and Freire competed for the 21st time under the Bellator banner, tying Freire’s brother, Patricky Freire, for the second-most fights in company history. Only David Rickels has more with 22.

THE GREAT HYPE TRAIN WRECK: Douglas Lima demolished Michael Page in the second round, serving MVP his first career loss.

SLOW BUILD: In taking a decision win over Pat Curran, A.J. McKee improved his undefeated record to 14-0, with all 14 of those wins coming inside the Bellator cage. With the win, he extended his own record for the most consecutive victories in Bellator.

DONE DEAL: By entering his fight as a -1500 favorite against T.J. Jones (+1000), Jake Hager closed as the biggest recorded betting favorite at a Bellator event since fellow Bellator 221 competitor Tywan Claxton faced Jose Antonio Perez at Bellator 194 in February 2018 as a -1750 favorite. Hager won by submission in the first round. Also of note, some international books gave Fabian Edwards -2000 odds when he met Falco Neto Lopes at Bellator Birmingham on May 4.

DON’T BE THAT GUY: By tapping Jones with an arm-triangle choke, Hager became the 10th heavyweight in company history to submit multiple opponents. He and seven other fighters are tied with two. Bobby Lashley has three submissions to his credit, and Blagoy Ivanov has four.

‘SPEEDY’ OR ‘AIR’?: Claxton remained unbeaten by knocking out James Bennett and has now finished four of his five adversaries. The lone man to reach the scorecards against Claxton was Cris Lencioni, who also competed and won at this event.

SET THE HOOK: By submitting Bryan Bautista with a heel hook at 1:42 of Round 1, Rob Fenicle became the third bantamweight in Bellator to score a win with that maneuver. His was the fastest of the three, although they all took place in the first round.

FRIENDS CALL ME ‘AMARAA’: At 23 letters in length, Khuukhenkhuu Amartuvshin’s billed name is the longest of any fighter in Bellator history. He defeated Adam Ward by decision.

NOT SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF: When Dave Latoria kneed Jason Belyew in the groin in the first round, he earned the fifth no-contest from a groin strike in promotional history. As the bout was contested at heavyweight, three of the five instances have come in that division.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 221, no fighter below 185 pounds had attempted to vie for a second belt (Freire), Adil Benjilany (seven fights) had never been finished and no fighter had ever submitted back-to-back opponents with arm-triangle chokes (Hager) and Bennett (five fights).

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.

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