Coker Not Optimistic About McKee/Freire Trilogy Despite “Close” Rematch

Despite the tight nature of the featherweight title rematch between A.J. McKee and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator President Scott Coker doesn’t believe a trilogy fight is “guaranteed.” At Bellator 277 last Friday, two 145-pound titans collided for the second time in a year. Last July, McKee secured a seat at the global featherweight table when…

Continue Reading Coker Not Optimistic About McKee/Freire Trilogy Despite “Close” Rematch at MMA News.

Despite the tight nature of the featherweight title rematch between A.J. McKee and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator President Scott Coker doesn’t believe a trilogy fight is “guaranteed.”

At Bellator 277 last Friday, two 145-pound titans collided for the second time in a year. Last July, McKee secured a seat at the global featherweight table when he became the first man to defeat “Pitbull” since 2016. After five defenses, the Brazilian’s reign came to a close thanks to a guillotine choke at Bellator 263.

Off the back of his championship and Grand Prix glory, and having extended his perfect record to 18-0, McKee called out the top featherweights in the UFC and claimed to be the world’s best at 145 pounds.

While he had a chance to further support that sentiment by adding another blemish to Freire’s impressive résumé, McKee fell short in their rematch, losing a tight decision on the judges’ scorecards. In doing so, the 27-year-old had the 0 on his record removed.

Following the event, promotional kingpin Coker gave his take on what’s since been a highly-debated contest and result. Like many, the South Korean-born American labeled the Bellator 277 main event as “very close.”

“Listen, the judges saw it the way they saw it and he’s the new champ,” Coker said. “As far as I’m concerned, he deserves it. I think it was a very close fight. It was a technical fight. And it’s not my job to judge – it’s for the judges and the state athletic commission to work that out, and that’s what happened. That’s what you saw. You saw the judges call the fight the way they did. I did think it was very close. I was sitting around some of my friends and said, ‘What did you think?’ Half of them said A.J., half of them said ‘Pitbull.’ It was very close.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

Coker Unsure What’s Next For McKee & Freire

With their rivalry sitting level at one win apiece, it would seem a trilogy bout is the logical next step, especially given how close the rematch was. However, with McKee expressing a desire to transition to lightweight, it doesn’t appear to be that simple.

Coker shared that sentiment post-fight, claiming that while he’d love to a book a third date between the Brazilian and the American, it’s far from guaranteed.

With that in mind, the 59-year-old named 17-1 featherweight Ádám Borics, who’s riding a four-fight win streak in the Bellator cage, as a potential challenger for the first defense of Freire’s third reign on the 145-pound throne.

“I’m going to go back and watch this fight and talk to my team,” Coker said. “But as much as we’d love to see a rematch, let’s see how that goes. I can’t really answer that question. If all parties want to do that, we might do it. But it’s not guaranteed. Adam Borics looked great against Mads Burnell (at Bellator 276 in March) — he had a great performance. He had an amazing fight, and we’ll see.”

Would you like to see A.J. McKee and Patricio Freire share the cage for a third time?

Continue Reading Coker Not Optimistic About McKee/Freire Trilogy Despite “Close” Rematch at MMA News.

Bellator 277 Results: AJ Mckee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2 

Aj MckeeLowkick MMA will be bringing you LIVE Bellator 277: AJ McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2 results throughout the night (Fri. Apr. 15, 2022) from the SAP Center in San Jose, CA.  The main event of the night will be a rematch between two of the top featherweights in the world, Champion AJ Mckee and #1 […]

Aj Mckee

Lowkick MMA will be bringing you LIVE Bellator 277: AJ McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2 results throughout the night (Fri. Apr. 15, 2022) from the SAP Center in San Jose, CA. 

The main event of the night will be a rematch between two of the top featherweights in the world, Champion AJ Mckee and #1 ranked Patricio Pitbull. 
Ten months removed from a contest that shockingly ended in under two minutes when AJ Mckee rocked and then submitted Patricio Pitbull at Bellator 263, the rematch is set for two of the most polarizing fighters in the promotion.

Pitbull has previously held the featherweight title twice and looks eager to regain the gold he lost back in July. He also boasts an impressive seven title defenses and two Bellator tournament victories. Mckee, however, is making his own case to be one of the Bellator greats. Getting his professional start in Bellator, Mckee has accumulated an imposing professional MMA record of 18-0. 

The main event is not the only title fight on the card, as Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov takes on Corey ‘Overtime’ Anderson in the co-main event. Coined as the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix final, the winner will not only receive the Light Heavyweight Championship, but also a cash prize of 1 million dollars. 

The undercard also features a pair of interesting fights as #4 ranked Featherweight Aaron Pico takes on Bellator newcomer Adli Edwards in a 150-pound catchweight contest. Opening the card, #5 ranked Heavyweight Tim Johnson looks to slug it out with #4 ranked Linton Vassell.

Main Card (Showtime/BBC Iplayer – 7pm pt)

Featherweight World Championship – C AJ Mckee (18-0) vs. #1 Patricio Pitbull (15-5) 

Results: 

Light Heavyweight Bout World Grand Prix Final – C Vadim Nemkov vs. #1 Corey Anderson (16-5) 

Results: 

150-Pound Contract Weight Bout – #4 Aaron Pico (9-3) vs. Aldi Edwards (9-1) 

Results – 

Heavyweight Bout – #5 Tim Johnson (15-8) vs. #4 Linton Vassell (22-8, 1 NC) 

Results: 

Preliminary Card (Bellator Youtube/Showtime Youtube/Pluto TV – 4pm pt)

Heavyweight Bout – #7 Tyrell Fortune (11-2, 1 NC) vs. Rakim Cleveland (21-14-1) 

Results: 

Light Heavyweight Bout – Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-7-1) vs. Rafael Carvalho (16-6) 

Results:

140-Pound Contract Weight Bout – Gaston Bolanos (5-3) vs. Daniel Carey (7-5) 

Results: 

Welterweight Bout – #9 Kyle Crutchmer (8-1) vs. Michael Lombardo (12-2, 1NC) 

Results: 

Bantamweight Bout – Bobby Seronio III (1-0) vs. Calob Ramirez (1-1)

Results: 

Welterweight Bout – Tyson Miller (2-0) vs. Rhalan Gracie (0-3) 

Results: 

Flyweight Bout – Edwin De Los Santos (1-0) vs. Alberto Mendez (0-0,1NC) 

Results: 

Featherweight Bout – Socrates Hernandez (0-1) vs. Rogelio Luna (Pro Debut)

Results: 

Featherweight Bout – Laird Anderson (1-0) vs. JT Donaldson (4-5)

Results: 

Light Heavyweight Bout – Theo Haig (Pro Debut) vs. Alan Benson (1-2)

Results:

REPORT | A.J. McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2 Targeted For Bellator Event In April

A.J. McKeeA featherweight championship rematch between reigning division champion and 2021 Grand Prix victor, A.J. McKee, and former two-weight champion, Patricio Pitbull is currently in the works for a Bellator event in April. At the time of publication, a location or venue for the event has yet to be determined by the organization. Initially meeting in […]

A.J. McKee

A featherweight championship rematch between reigning division champion and 2021 Grand Prix victor, A.J. McKee, and former two-weight champion, Patricio Pitbull is currently in the works for a Bellator event in April. At the time of publication, a location or venue for the event has yet to be determined by the organization.

Initially meeting in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix final back in July of last year, the undefeated A.J. McKee snapped the memorable featherweight run of Pitbull with a first round standing guillotine choke after dropping the Brazilian with an earlier high-kick.

A.J. McKee managed to stop Patricio Pitbull with a submission win inside the opening two minutes of their clash

The victory improved A.J. McKee to 18-0 — his eighteenth under the promotion’s banner, having competed entirely for the Scott Coker-led organization since his debut back in April 2015.

For Pitbull, following his loss to the Californian, which snapped a run of seven straight victories for him, he also vacated his Bellator lightweight championship which is currently held by his elder sibling, Patricky Pitbull following a November knockout win over Peter Queally. Ariel Helwani was first to report the targeted rematch on his official Substack.

Embarking on a four-fight winning spree including his win over Pitbull throughout the Grand Prix tournament, McKee, a native of Long Beach, stopped Georgi Karakhanyan with strikes, before submitting both Derek Campos, and then former bantamweight champion, Darion Caldwell – the second of which with a Submission of the Year contender neck crank in November 2020.

32-5 as a professional, Pitbull had made his way to the tournament final with a trio of victories against former champion, Juan Archuleta, a knockout over Pedro Carvalho, and a submission win over two-time opponent, Emmanuel Sanchez – the most recent of which back in April of last year. Over the course of his professional career, Pitbull has scored 11 knockout wins to go with 12 submission victories. 

Cyborg vs. Kavanagh Booked; Patricio Freire Vacates LW Title

Cris Cyborg has a title defense targeted and Bellator’s former featherweight champion Patricio Freire is stepping down as the 155-pound champion. Cyborg is set to face Sinead Kavanagh on Nov. 12 while attempting to secure her third title defense with the promotion. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed the news on The MMA Hour on Oct. […]

Continue Reading Cyborg vs. Kavanagh Booked; Patricio Freire Vacates LW Title at MMA News.

Cris Cyborg has a title defense targeted and Bellator’s former featherweight champion Patricio Freire is stepping down as the 155-pound champion.

Cyborg is set to face Sinead Kavanagh on Nov. 12 while attempting to secure her third title defense with the promotion. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed the news on The MMA Hour on Oct. 6. As one of the greatest female combatants in mixed martial arts history, Cyborg has blasted the roof off Bellator with three-back-to-back finishes.

What came as a shock was the announcement that Freire was stepping down as the 155-pound titleholder. After losing a 145-pound fight to the now-featherweight champion AJ McKee Jr., Freire dropped his heavier strap and will pursue a rematch with McKee Jr. at featherweight instead. On Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Patricio Freire clarified why he made the decision to vacate his 155-pound title.

“First thing is, I lost the featherweight division,” Patricio said. “For me, it doesn’t make sense to be a champion in the lightweight division. If I lost at 145 pounds, I can’t be the champion at 155.”

Following the news, Patricio Freire posted on social media and shared why he is on a quest to right the wrongs at 145-pounds.

“Honor and family come first. When I first won the LW belt it was just about revenge. It was still an honor, but with the loss at 145 I’m starting over. It’s time for the LW division to move on and for @PatrickyPitbull to have his shot. My focus is on AJ and him only. #TheMMAHour” PatrickyPitbull posted.

With Freire vacating his title, his older brother Patricky Freire will now fight Peter Queally in a rematch scheduled for a Nov. 5 showdown in Ireland. Their initial encounter resulted in a doctor’s stoppage victory for Queally. It seems Bellator is is back in the full swing of things, and the promotion will crown a new lightweight champion in just under a month.

What do you make of Freire vacating his 155-pound title?

Continue Reading Cyborg vs. Kavanagh Booked; Patricio Freire Vacates LW Title at MMA News.

Patricio Pitbull Stands Firm That McKee Did Not Finish Him At Bellator 263

Bellator Lightweight Champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire has doubled down on his claim that AJ McKee didn’t finish him at Bellator 263. In the headlining fight of the event, which went down on July 31, Pitbull, a former two-division ch…

Bellator Lightweight Champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire has doubled down on his claim that AJ McKee didn’t finish him at Bellator 263. In the headlining fight of the event, which went down on July 31, Pitbull, a former two-division champion, looked to defend his 145-pound gold in the final of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. […]

Continue Reading Patricio Pitbull Stands Firm That McKee Did Not Finish Him At Bellator 263 at MMA News.

The Pulse of MMA: Fan Reaction To Saturday’s MMA Doubleheader

The Pulse of MMA: Fan Reactions To The Sport’s Biggest Stories Here are some of the raw reactions from the MMA community about the biggest stories around the sport. Bellator 263 Results, Sights, & Sounds: The A.J. McKee Era Begins Bellator 263 saw …

The Pulse of MMA: Fan Reactions To The Sport’s Biggest Stories Here are some of the raw reactions from the MMA community about the biggest stories around the sport. Bellator 263 Results, Sights, & Sounds: The A.J. McKee Era Begins Bellator 263 saw the crowning of a new featherweight champion when 26-year-old A.J. McKee defeated […]

Continue Reading The Pulse of MMA: Fan Reaction To Saturday’s MMA Doubleheader at MMA News.