Patricio Pitbull reclaims title, lets AJ McKee taste defeat

Patricio Pitbull lets AJ McKee taste defeat to become the Bellator Featherweight Champion again, but it doesn’t come without controversy

When AJ McKee and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire first met, it took McKee less than two minutes to give the Bellator a great choke and win the Bellator Featherweight Title. The matchup at Bellator 277 was very different, with the two at range and a different winner.

Despite the differing opinions of the MMA media and some viewers at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, Freire won the bid over McKee to reclaim the Bellator featherweight title.

McKee — who has been a Bellator exclusive since the dawn of professional MMA — is eating a loss for the first time, while Freire is now a three-time Bellator featherweight champion.

Patricio Freire regains the Bellator Featherweight Title, giving AJ McKee the first loss in the decision with questionable score at Bellator 277

McKee immediately came out with a series of kicks to attack, although Freire tried to get his attention early on with a hard counter. That pretty much set the tone of the opening round, with McKee doing the more offensive work. This time, however, Freire held his own as he searched for a way inside.

Freire seemed to find his rhythm in the second half as he constantly worked over McKee’s body and put in better defensive work.

Freire rocked McKee with a shot behind the ear in the third round, although McKee responded with a successful takedown from Freire. While McKee attempted to deliver ground-and-pound, Freire managed to score a guillotine choke attempt with about 90 seconds remaining in the round. However, McKee managed to survive and even got to Freire’s back before the end of the round.

After a rather dull fourth round in which McKee seemed to put in more action, McKee started the fifth by scoring a takedown on Freire and preventing an escape. Again, neither of them did much significant work early in the round. McKee accelerated late in the lap, which Freire answered, but McKee managed to land another takedown before the bell.

All three judges scored the fight for Freeze, with two posting a 48-47 score and one a questionable 49-46 score.

Bellator 277: AJ McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2 ​​takes place live from the SAP Center in San Jose, California on Friday, April 15, 2022. Follow FanSided MMA who will be on hand for all your news and highlights. Patricio Pitbull reclaims title, lets AJ McKee taste defeat

John Verrall

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