We’re live at the SAP Center in San Jose for Bellator’s biggest show so far in 2022. In the main event, it’s AJ McKee vs. Patrício Pitbull, in a rematch of their Bellator 263 bout, which was also the finals of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. McKee submitted him with a guillotine in the first round to win the grand prix as well as the featherweight title.
Tim Johnson Vs Linton Vassell
Johnson didn’t want the fight to be at distance and rushed Vassell and clinched him up against the cage. Vassell fought off the cage very well to get it back in the center. Johnson rushed him again and this time caught him. He hit him with right and left uppercuts and Vassell went down and stumbled back down as he tried to get up. Johnson rushed to finish, but it seems that he wore himself out and played into Vassell’s hands. Vassell stayed composed and reversed the position and finished him from the top with strikes.
Winner: Linton Vassell by way of 1st round TKO
Adli Edwards Vs Aaron Pico
Edwards came down the ring to Hall & Oates’ You Make My Dreams (Come True).
Pico got an immediate takedown. Back on their feet, Pico threw hard punches that landed. Edwards stood right up and took them. Pico got another takedown. Edwards got up and threw a kick, but Pico got another takedown. Pico landed a nasty head kick. Edwards just missed a spinning back elbow and then was taken down again. Round ended with Pico in Edwards’ guard throwing punches.
Pico landed a head kick and Edwards went down again. Edwards throws a punch, Pico ducks it, then takes him down. Wash, rinse, repeat. Edwards has taken tremendous punishment to the body and his forehead looks like a mess. The only challenge so far for Pico is that he can’t put him away.
Pico hit him with an overhand right which rocked Edwards and then he finished him on the ground.
Winner: Aaron Pico by way of 3rd round TKO
Corey Anderson Vs Vadim Nemkov
Nemkov started early with low kicks causing Anderson to slip and go to a knee. Fight was all standing without a lot of landing. Nemkov threw some jabs to keep Anderson away, but neither guy really landed. Late in the first, Anderson went for a takedown, but the round ended.
Anderson got a takedown about a minute into the second. Anderson spent the entire round trying to get the mount and Nemkov stayed patient, losing the entire round in the process. But the second Anderson tried for the mount, Nemkov pushed him off and got back to his feet and then the round ended.
Anderson thumped him with a right hand before then taking him down again. Nemkov got a guillotine and the crowd, who were clearly for Anderson, gasped for a second, but Anderson escaped. Anderson worked hard on the ground to get into position for a choke, but Nemkov defended well. Anderson tried to land some lefts from Nemkov’s guard, but they mostly missed. Nemkov had a nasty cut over his left eye. With three seconds left in the round, the referee paused the fight and the doctor stopped it.
On replay, it was Anderson’s head that connected with Nemkov’s causing the cut.
Decision: No contest
Corey Anderson just came over near press row and screamed, "I'm the mother******* champ!" #Bellator277
— Fight Game Media (@fightgamemedia) April 16, 2022
If the referee let the fight go to the end of the round, which was three more seconds, they would’ve went to the cards to decide the winner.
Patrício Pitbull Vs. AJ McKee
Crowd wanted fireworks in the first round and didn’t get it. Pitbull controlled the octagon a bit while McKee mostly played reacted off what Pitbull did. Pitbull also scored with a hard leg kick late. McKee fired up late like he tried to steal it, but he didn’t do enough. It was Pitbull’s round.
McKee tried to go to the ground and laid on his back while Pitbull kicked at his legs. Pitbull countered him and hit him with shots against the cage. McKee is throwing single shots and not really able to set anything up. McKee shot in for a takedown but it was snuffed. Pitbull hit him with a straight right near the end of the round. He should be up 2-0.
McKee has continued to call Pitbull in while mostly fighting defensively. He’s either trying to play mind games or fool the judges. He’s not doing either at this point. Pitbull caught him with an overhand right and it staggered McKee, but the followup to the ground ended up with Pitbull in guard. McKee had Pitbull up against the fence and tried to pick him up for a takedown. Pitbull fell to his back with a guillotine. McKee fought it and then escaped into Pitbull’s guard. That was easily the best round of the fight.
Pitbull was more surgical in the round and McKee couldn’t really do much. Pitbull hit him with a head kick that McKee shook off as if it didn’t hurt. McKee tried to take him down late, but was rebuffed in his attempt. It’s either 3-1 or 4-0 Pitbull depending on how you score the third round.
McKee got a takedown about 90 seconds into the round. His striking has been much better these last two rounds. He’s throwing a lot more while Pitbull slows down a bit. With 20 seconds left, McKee secured a takedown, which probably cinches the round for him.
Winner: Patrício Pitbull by way of unanimous decision
The scores were 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47.