Bellator 197: Michael Chandler vs. Brandon Girtz Open Workout Round-Up

Michael Chandler at the Bellator 197 open workouts
Michael Chandler, Bellator 197 Open Workouts Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

Bellator MMA returns this Friday, and brings lightweight star Michael Chandler, featherweight standout A.J. McKee, and budding prospect ‘Baby Sice’ with them!

Bellator 197 goes down Friday night at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. Originally topped by a lightweight title fight between Brent Primus and Michael Chandler, an instant rematch from last year’s Bellator NYC, an injury to Primus saw plans change. Out went the champ, who has yet to defend the 155lb title he won from Chandler. In came Brandon Girtz, willing to step up and go to war with the man who has arguably been the face of the company the last few years.

Also on the Bellator 197 card, undefeated “it’s time to stop calling him a” prospect A.J. McKee was set to face Justin Lawrence in the co-main event. All ten wins by McKee (son of MMA veteran and Team Bodyshop coach Antonio McKee) have come under the Bellator banner, with the talented featherweight slowly but surely building into a contender.

Lawrence (11–4), meanwhile, rolled into St. Charles on a two fight win streak. The former UFC and Strikeforce fighter was 4-2 in Bellator, and looking to spoil McKee’s undefeated record. Would he be the man to pull it off?

On Wednesday, fighters took part in open workouts ahead of the even — you can catch highlights of those below!