Brazilian Bellator icon Patricio Pitbull edged his rematch with A.J. McKee to leave the cage a three-time featherweight title, and leave McKee stunned at the judges’ scorecards.
Pitbull earned scores of 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 from the three cageside judges at the SAP Center in San Jose, California to reclaim the belt from the man who took it from him in the final of the Bellator featherweight grand prix.
But the result left McKee shocked, as he told an interviewer as he headed backstage after his defeat.
"I took the man down two rounds, dominated him, beat him the f*ck up and I lose? I'm going to try to contest that."
A.J. McKee was puzzled in the aftermath of losing his belt to Patricio Freire at #Belaltor277. pic.twitter.com/j2aqubD2Ou
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) April 16, 2022
“I took the man down two rounds, dominated him, beat him the f**k up and I lose? I’m going to try to contest that,” he said as he headed back to his locker room.
Pitbull, meanwhile said a more businesslike approach than he brought to the first fight helped him to victory in the rematch as he stated, “That day, I came in peace. Today, I came for war, and I’m bringing the belt home.”
🗣 "On that day…I came in peace. Today…I came for war."@PatricioPitbull did not mince words as to his intentions tonight at #Bellator277. 🇧🇷#AndNew pic.twitter.com/OgY82VUIxU
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 16, 2022
There was more controversy in the co-main event, as an accidantal clash of heads in the light heavyweight grand prix final meant that Corey Anderson was denied both the light heavyweight title, the light heavyweight grand prix title and the $1 million prize.
Anderson was bossing the contest when the bout was halted seven seconds from the end of the third round after an accidental clash of heads while the American was looking to land heavy ground and pound on the already busted-up champion.
But the clash of heads opened up a massive cut on the Russian’s eyebrow that prompted the doctor to advise referee Frank Trigg to wave off the fight.
Because the fight hadn’t gone three full rounds, it was ruled a no contest, meaning Nemkov retained his title and the grand prix title remained undecided.
There were also big main card wins for Aaron Pico and Linton Vassell, who finished Adli Edwards and Tim Johnson, respectively.
Bellator 277: Official Results
- Patricio Pitbull def. A.J. McKee via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
- Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson ruled a no contest (accidental clash of heads) – Round 3, 4:53
- Aaron Pico def. Adli Edwards via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:55
- Linton Vassell def. Tim Johnson via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 4:21
- Tyson Miller def. Rhalan Gracia via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- Tyrell Fortune def. Rakim Cleveland via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:38
- Dovletzhan Yagshimuradov def. Rafael Carvalho via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 4:04
- Bobby Seronio III def. Calob Ramirez via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 2:14
- Gaston Bolanos def. Daniel Carey via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 4:59
- Kyle Crutchmer def. Michael Lombardo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Edwin De Los Santos def. Alberto Mendez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Rogelio Luna def. Socrates Hernandez via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:48
- Laird Anderson def. JT Donaldson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:44
- Theo Haig def. Alan Benson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:08