This is the live blog for Patricky Freire vs. Michael Chandler. Freire is 9-1, and ended up in the finals with victories over Rob McCullough and Toby Imada. Chandler is perfect in seven fights, defeating Marcin Held and Lloyd Woodard on the road to the finals. The winner of this bout will meet current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Play-by-play provided by Bloody Elbow's Dallas G. Winston.
Round 1 - Referee Keith Peterson is in charge of this lightweight tournament finale. Pitbull keeps Chandler at bay with a right straight-left hook in the first exchange. Jab, then left hook connects from Chandler, but Pitbull clears space with a monster hook of his own. Another sharp counter combination from Pitbull that backs Chandler up. Pitbull controlling distance with straight punches while Chandler tries to pop in and out with strikes. Lunging left hook whiffs from Chandler, who eats another counter and seems to be struggling with the range. Left kick from Chandler finds the cup, and the referee intervenes so Pitbull can recover from the low blow.
The fight restarts with just over two minutes left, and Pitbull is the more efficient striker with his counters. Straight kick to the midsection lands from Chandler, who then goes to the body, but eats a Pitbull right. Chandler ducks under and shoots for the frist time, but the D1 wrestler is shoved back. Chandler now commits to a double leg that Pitbull sprawls to soundly defend, then circles out and counters. The round ends with Chandler taunting Pitbull.
SB Nation scores the round 10-9 for Patricky Freire.
Round 2 - Round two opens with a bang as Chandler leads aggressively with a combination, then follows with a kick. Pitbull circles out and now presses the attack with a flying knee, Chandler ducks and they clinch up against the fence, and Chandler plants a knee below the belt. We pause again while Pitbull recovers from the unintentional groin shot.
We restart with a little over four minutes left. Pitbull, now bleeding from the mouth, scores a low kick. Chandler relying on the uppercut, still actively dancing in and out of range. Left counter by Pitbull, then he swipes a stiff right. Double jab by Chandler misses, Pitbull throws two punches and Chandler shoots, but Pitbull stuffs it again. Double jab from Chandler again, but Pitbull's jab lands stiff. The left hand of Pitbull is now finding a home on Chandler's advances, but then Chandler scores a left, and Pitbull returns the same strike. Pitbull has a kick caught by Chandler, who holds the leg and transforms it into a takedown around the one minute mark. Ground and pound from Chandler inside Pitbull's guard. Pitbull seeks out the kimura, but Chandler postures up to shake him off and now hammers down some meaningful elbows from the top to close the round.
SB Nation scores the round 10-9 for Michael Chandler.
Round 3 - The lightweight tournament and $100,000 will come down to the final round. We have our third groin shot from Chandler as his opening strike is a left kick directly to Pitbull's cup. The referee takes one point from Chandler for the rule violation, which is warranted, while Pitbull takes his allotted time to recover from the blow.
We restart with Pitbull planting combinations on Chandler, now a straight kick. Chandler shoots for a takedown, but Pitbull digs underhooks with his back against the fence. Chandler gathers himself and lifts Pitbull off the ground and puts him on his back for a strong takedown. In full guard, Chandler buries his head in Pitbull's chest and swings. Pitbull tries to keep his hips busy, but Chandler holds position and then offers some meaningful ground and pound. Pitbull maneuvers for the kimura, then creates space and throws a back-fist. Pitbull stands momentarily, but Chandler scores another takedown from the bodylock. A series of right hands from Chandler ensues, who then switches to short elbows as Pitbull's activity from his back decreases. Another stiff barrage of punches forces Pitbull to grab wrist control, which is answered by a monster elbow from Chandler that lands with a thud.
SB Nation scores the round for Chandler 10-9, which factors to 9-9 with the point deduction.
Michael Chandler defeats Patricky Freire by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27).