A.J. McKee finishes Patricio ‘Pitbull’ to earn $1,000,000 and the featherweight championship at Bellator 263

A.J. McKee remained undefeated, won the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix, captured the featherweight championship and banked a $1,000,000 payday at Bellator 263 on Saturday.

McKee advanced his unbeaten record to 18-0 with a first-round submission win over longtime champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in Saturday’s main event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

McKee connected with a head kick that staggered Freire. Sensing the end was near, McKee unloaded a flurry of punches. An uppercut dropped Freire. “Pitbull” quickly stood and found himself caught in a standing guillotine choke. Seconds later he was unconscious.

“We are just getting started. This is only the beginning. When it first started and they were selecting the bracket, I wanted the third or fourth pick.  But God told me that I am number one so when I picked that first draw, I knew that I was number one and now I am,” McKee said following the win. “Mentality is the key.  You have to put the work in and my dad always says, hard work beats talent.”

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Bellator 263 Official Results:

Main Card

  • #1-AJ McKee (18-0) defeated C-Patricio Pitbull (32-5) via submission (guillotine) at 1:57 of round one
  • #8-Mads Burnell (15-3) defeated #2-Emmanuel Sanchez (20-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Usman Nurmagomedov (13-0) defeated Manny Muro (12-7) via TKO (punches) at 3:30 of round one
  • Islam Mamedov (20-1-1) defeated Brent Primus (10-2) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • #5-Goiti Yamauchi (26-5) defeated Chris Gonzalez (6-1) via TKO (punches) at 3:53 of round one

Preliminary Card

  • #10-Vanessa Porto (23-9) defeated Ilara Joanne (9-6) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Gadzhi Rabadanov (16-4-2) defeated Daniel Carey (7-5) via KO (punch) at 3:57 of round one
  • Khasan Magomedsharipov (6-0 defeated Jonathan Quiroz (4-4) 4:21 of round two TKO (strikes)
  •  Joshua Jones (11-5) defeated Johnny Cisneros (13-8) via TKO (strikes) at 4:15 of round two
  • Georgi Karakhanyan (31-11-1) defeated Kiefer Crosbie (8-3) via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:25 of round one
  • Brian Moore (14-7) defeated Jordan Winski (11-3) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)