Patricio Pitbull added to his impressive legacy under the Bellator banner by successfully defending his featherweight title at Bellator 286, but the manner of his performance against Hungarian challenger Adam Borics did little to entertain the fans in Long Beach, California.
Pitbull ran out the unanimous decision winner, with the scorecards reading 48-47, 49-46, 50-45. But the bout itself was not one the Brazilian champion will be quick to show to his kids after his retirement.
In a largely drab affair, Pitbull did just enough to win the rounds to secure the victory, as the unimpressed Long Beach crowd let their feelings be known by booing throughout the five-round title fight.
But, regardless of the fans’ reaction, it was another victory for Pitbull, who improved his career record to 34-5 with his ninth win from his last 10 outings.
McKee wins wild scrap with “Alpha Ginger”
AJ McKee’s first bout as a Bellator lightweight delivered action aplenty as he was pushed all the way to the scorecards by a gritty, scrappy Spike Carlyle in the night’s co-main event matchup.
Carlyle entered the arena dressed in Hulk Hogan-inspired attire as the pro wrestling legend’s ring walk music blasted from the speakers. The fighter known as “The Alpha Ginger” had clearly come to entertain, and he delivered even more spectacularly when the bout got underway.
In the opening seconds of the bout, he caught McKee by surprise by charging across the cage and launching himself at “The Mercenary,” sparking a wild exchange that lasted half a round.
The action never fully settled down after that, as the fast-paced exchanged and mat scrambles continued throughout the three rounds. But, despite Carlyle’s energetic early approach, it was McKee who found his composure among the madness to threaten with submission attempts on the ground, while connecting with big, clean shots on the feet.
When the scorecards (29-26, 30-26, 30-27) were read, McKee’s victory was already a foregone conclusion, but Carlyle ensured the former featherweight champ earned every bit of it.
Dislocated shoulder halts Pico’s momentum
Featherweight contender Aaron Pico saw his chances of earning a shot at the featherweight title go up in smoke as he suffered an injury-TKO defeat to Canada’s Jeremy Kennedy.
Pico started the bout in rapid-fire fashion, but as he threw a combination and shot in for a takedown he sustained an injury that appeared to be a dislocated shoulder.
Pico somehow survived to the end of the round, but was unable to reset his shoulder and, despite his pleas to be allowed to continue, the cageside doctor wasn’t happy with the state of the shoulder, telling Pico he had a broken clavicle, and the referee waved off the fight between rounds.
It meant that Pico’s six-fight win streak came to an end and Kennedy picked up a priceless win. Pico will now look to rehab his injury and return with the title still in his sights, while Kennedy sets his sights on a February clash with fellow contender Pedro Carvalho in Dublin.
Archuleta wins wild war with Barzola
Juan Archuleta and Enrique Barzola served up 15 minutes of back-and-forth action as they delivered a thrilling bout to open up the main card in Long Beach.
Archuleta came out at full throttle and let fly at his opponent in a breathless opening round. But the pace barely dropped through the second and third rounds as both men traded shots and scrambled in and out of wrestling exchanges.
Despite the highly competitive nature of the fight, it was Archuleta who held the upper hand throughout, however, as he ran out the unanimous decision victor with scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.
Bellator 286: Official Results
- Patricio Pitbull def. Adam Borics via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45) – for featherweight title
- AJ McKee def. Spike Carlyle via unanimous decision (29-26, 30-26, 30-27)
- Jeremy Kennedy def. Aaron Pico via TKO (shoulder injury) – Round 1, 5:00
- Juan Archuleta def. Enrique Barzola via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Bobby Seronio III def. Miguel Peimbert via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Islam Mamedov def. Nick Browne via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jay-Jay Wilson def. Vladimir Tokov via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Khalid Murtazaliev def. Khadzhi Bestaev via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:13
- Sumiko Inaba def. Nadine Mandiau via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Weber Almeida def. Ryan Lilley via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lance Gibson Jr. def. Dominic Clark via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 1:49
- Cee Jay Hamilton def. Richard Palencia via TKO (leg injury) – Round 2, 2:12
Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA