On the heels of his title-winning fight of the year performance against the world’s top lightweight Eddie Alvarez, Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler returns to face former UFC lightweight Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67 on Friday, May 4 from Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada.
“Casino Rama has been a spectacular home to Bellator over the last year, so bringing our Lightweight Champion and the man who provided 2011’s Fight of the Year to Rama was an easy decision to make,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “As always our fight card will be stacked from top to bottom with many of the world’s best fighters, so I expect nothing less than a packed house once again on May 4.”
After Chandler’s amazing fourth-round submission victory against then champion Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58, the undefeated champion knows that he’s the one now with the target on his back.
“I’m just excited to get back into the cage,” Chandler said. “I fought four times in 2011 and I’m ready to get back to work. Gono has beaten some of the best fighters in the sport and this should be a good test for me.”
With 32 career wins, Gono has fought some of the world’s best. And with wins over reigning Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard and world-class middleweight Gegard Mousasi, Gono has beaten some of the world’s best. Known for jumping weight classes, Gono has a solid reputation of never turning down a fight, and he will have his hands full when he takes on Bellator’s Lightweight Champion on May 4.
Edmonton native and Canadian fan favorite Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford will make his Bellator debut against 12-year MMA veteran Luis “Sapo” Santos, who enters the fight with an incredible 50-7 professional record. The two welterweights will square off in non-tournament action, and should provide fireworks.
Tickets for this event are on sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com and in-person at the Casino Rama Box Office. The event will also be broadcast LIVE starting at 8 p.m. EST on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. The preliminary card will be streamed on Spike.com starting at 7 p.m. EST.