Michael Chandler Defends Lightweight Title, Ben Saunders vs. Bryan Baker at Bellator 67

Michael Chandler. Photo by Jeff Cain/MMA Weekly.

CHICAGO, Ill. (April 6, 2012) — With an already stellar main event featuring Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler taking on 32-win MMA veteran Akihiro Gono, Bellator 67 from Casino Rama on May 4 will feature a welterweight semifinal showdown between Ben “Killa B” Saunders and Bryan “The Beast” Baker, as well as a host of stacked feature fights sure to get the Canadian faithful on their feet.

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 one of his greatest tests to date as the Las Vegas-trained fighter takes on former UFC lightweight Akihiro Gono.

After Chandler’s amazing fourth-round submission victory against then champion Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58, the undefeated champion knows that he’s now the one 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.

Ben “Killa B” Saunders returns to the Bellator cage on the heels of his dominant performance against Raul Amaya in the Bellator Season 6 welterweight quarterfinals. A true finisher who brings a devastating Muay Thai attack, Saunders will have his hands full against Baker and his explosive wrestling style. After dropping a weight class, “The Beast” was able to get by a dangerous Carlos Pereira in the quarterfinals and looks to move one step closer to a title shot with a win over Saunders.

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.

The “Polish Pitbull” will make his return to the Bellator cage as heavyweight Damian Grabowski is set for battle against Dave “Bad Man” Huckaba in an explosive feature fight. Both heavyweights pack a tremendous punch and are always looking for a finish, so the Casino Rama crowd should be treated to fireworks on May 4.

“This card top to bottom is incredibly exciting, and I’m thrilled we’re bringing it to one of the loudest, packed and energized venues we visit all year at Casino Rama.” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “When you have explosive finishers like Ben “Killa-B” Saunders, Bryan “The Beast” Baker, Luis “Sapo” Santos, Ryan Ford, plus our World Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler facing battle-tested Akihiro Gono all on one card – our terrific fans and partners at Casino Rama are in for an exciting night.”

Bellator 67 will mark the third-time ever the organization has hosted an event at Casino Rama and the fourth time the promotion has visited Canada for an event.

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