Ahead of Bellator 221, Patricio Pitbull Fuming, Chandler Plays it Cool

Michael Chandler Bellator MMA
Michael Chandler Credit: Bellator MMA

An at times irate Patricio Pitbull and lightweight champ Michael Chandler took part in a conference call ahead of Bellator 221 on Tuesday, with Chandler keeping a level head, and Pitbull… well, not so much.

On Tuesday’s Bellator 221 media call, the bad blood between Patricio Pitbull and Michael Chandler boiled over. At least on Pitbull’s side. That Brazilian featherweight champion was animated throughout, at times breaking out in bursts of profanity, spoken in English despite the bulk of his comments coming via translator. Nor did his ire stop with Chandler, as Pitbull had plenty to say, or well scream, at featherweight phenom A.J. McKee.

Michael Chandler? He was a much cooler customer. The pair clash in the lightweight main event of Bellator 221 in Chicago, with Chandler’s 155lb title on the line.

Asked which was more important, winning the lightweight title or getting revenge for his brother Patricky, who Chandler has defeated twice, the answer was clear: Chandler. Addressing his opponent, also on the line, Pitbull said “I’m going to take you down, and I’m going to kick your ass. You’ll see that. Mark my words, motherf*cker.”

“I don’t give a f*ck for the belt. I don’t give a f*ck. I don’t want that belt. I want him bad. He knows that,” the Brazilian later added, again in plan English.

Pitbull has spent more than his share of time on social media attacking Chandler, including accusing the lightweight champion of performance enhancing drug use. Asked by Cageside Press whether he felt any of Pitbull’s talk had crossed the line, and whether it was motivating, or something to ignore, Chandler replied that “it doesn’t mean a thing. I have so much more to live for than fighting in a cage for a living. It’s great, it’s cool, I’m extremely good at it. I’m extremely natural when I step into that cage.”

“Unlike Rory MacDonald, I talk to my god every day and he’s completely fine with me beating the hell out of people. And I do it in a dominant fashion, and I’m going to do it on May 11.”

Before Chandler steps into the cage with Pitbull, “I could care less. We’re not going to fight in the hotel room, we’re not going to fight in the press conferences,” he said.

Patricio Pitbull
Patricio Pitbull Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

“You can mother-F me all you want,” he added, addressing the featherweight. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to step inside the cage with the toughest dude that you’ve ever stepped in the cage with. And I have built a formidable, ridiculously in shape, and downright as close to unbeatable opponent as he has ever stepped in the cage with.”

“So it doesn’t really matter. It’s great that we have the history and the bad blood. The promoters can promote and the reporters can report, they can do all that stuff,” Chandler continued. “But at the end of the day, when I’m looking ahead I’m not thinking about Patricio Pitbull. I’m thinking about out-performing the Michael Chandler who stepped in the cage the last time I fought. I could care less about who I step in the cage with. I could care less about where the blood is, whether it’s bad blood, good blood, or in-between blood.”

Rather than dwell on opponent or hurt feelings, Chandler said that instead, “I’m going to go out there and put on a dominant performance, just like I always do. And I’m going to get my hand raised, and I’m going to collect the check, kiss my wife, and continue to move forward in this journey.”

Pitbull, mind you, wasn’t biting on the “toughest opponent” comment. “I don’t care about ranking him against any other of my opponents. I just want to shut this guy’s mouth, beat him up, make him hurt, make him feel every punch.”

The Brazilian also questioned Chandler’s heart. “Because I know he quits when he gets hurt. He’s a lion when he’s hitting, but he’s a little cat when he gets hit.”

Later, when A.J. McKee complained of Pitbull moving up in weight rather than defending his title, Pitbull broke in, and between unintelligible yelling, claimed that McKee’s opponent Pat Curran “would destroy” McKee. “I’m going to kill this motherf*cker,” Pitbull added.

“Remove your ego and do what’s right,” McKee later said, after taking the Brazilian to task for participating in “kid stuff” by challenging those who beat his brother. “And what’s right is him coming and stepping in that cage and giving me my belt.”

Bellator 221 takes place at the AllState Arena in Chicago, IL on May 11. The card airs exclusively on DAZN.