Daniel Cormier, Ben Askren and Other MMA Pros React to AJ McKee Submitting Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire in Round One at Bellator 263

Published 08/01/2021, 1:01 AM EDT


Home grown Bellator sensation AJ McKee defeated Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire via first-round guillotine choke to win the Bellator featherweight Grand Prix. The fight was over before it even started as McKee found the finish at 1:57 and nearly choked ‘Pitbull’ unconscious. The finishing sequence came as McKeen landed a head kick that sent Patricio Freire backward and opened him up for a submission.

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‘Mercenary’ McKee isn’t one to back down when he sees an opportunity and he now holds the 145-pound strap. Furthermore, he picked up a $1 million check for his efforts to dethrone the undisputed champion and Bellator GOAT. Fans will be excited to see what lie ahead for AJ McKee as he’s now a massive star in the sport.

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‘Pitbull’ was almost out of his feet as the referee came in just in time to stop the standing guillotine attempt. Once the fight was over, Pitbull’s corner were confused as to what happened and will likely speak out against the stoppage. However, Patricio Freire seemed out of sorts and was on his way to being stopped.

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AJ McKee: Standing tall

The MMA community sounded off on AJ McKee’s win and there’s no doubt that he’s a star in the making. To make short work of Patricio ‘Pitbull’ is no mean feat and in fact, has never even come close to happening in the past. But ‘The Mercenary’ made it look effortless and now hold the strap over his waist.

McKeen has won the belt in his backyard in Inglewood, California at the Forum with his father in his corner. The moment was special and will go down as a memorable night, not just for him, but for the company as a whole. AJ McKee improved to 18-0 and all of his wins have come under the Bellator banner.

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He truly is a home-grown Bellator MMA product and fans will be waiting to see him plot his next move. The options are endless for an undefeated and undisputed champion like McKee as he can move up to lightweight. Not to mention, a rematch against ‘Pitbull’ is likely around the corner as well.

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Darryl Pinto

1875 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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