AJ McKee’s run as the Bellator featherweight champion has just begun, but he will already be facing a familiar foe. McKee will be matched up with the man he defeated to become that champion, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
Both McKee and Pitbull fought their way through the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix last year to make it to the finals. On July 31, 2021, the two met in the final with the featherweight belt and one million dollars on the line. Pitbull was holding the strap coming in, but it would be McKee who would walk out with it. He was able to stop Freire by submission in the first round.
McKee was on the last fight of his Bellator contract, but winning the title renewed it. He will now begin his title reign against a very formidable foe. Prior to losing the featherweight title, Pitbull was simultaneously holding the lightweight belt as well. He decided to vacate that 155-pound belt so that his brother could have a shot at it. Now without any belt, Pitbull will be coming in hard against McKee to regain what he lost.
McKee has spent his entire professional career with Bellator. He started as a 0-0 prospect and worked his way up to the very top. Scott Coker believes that he may be the best featherweight in the world at this point. There is no love lost between these two as Pitbull is adamant that he was not finished by McKee in their first meeting.
In the co-main event, we will see the finals of the light heavyweight grand prix when defending champion Vadim Nemkov takes on Corey Anderson. To reach this point, Nemkov defeated Phil Davis and Julius Anglickas while Anderson defeated Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov and Ryan Bader, both via TKO.
Which two fighters do you think will emerge victorious in this massive double-header?