Bellator 277: Patricio Pitbull hands AJ McKee his first loss in close decision

Patricio Pitbull defeated AJ McKee via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) for the Bellator Featherweight title. McKee suffered his first professional loss.

Unlike their first fight, they were more measured in the first round There were explosive moments but they were much more subdued than their Grand Prix finale, so much so that the crowd was actually booing the lack of action. It wasn’t until the clap of the 10-second warning did they light up with Pitbull coming forward with a heated exchange.

They were much more engaged in the second round with McKee trying for takedowns and flashy leg kicks and knees and Pitbull evading it all. The crowd was unimpressed and booed more, likely still unhappy from the no-contest co-main event. The action picked up again with some exchanges towards the end of the round including Pitbull putting the champ against the cage twice.

McKee had mentioned multiple times that Pitbull wouldn’t get out of the second round … but he did.

The crowd was unhappy again and you almost can’t blame them. It was taking ages for either fighter to engage and those moments came few and far between.

But with three minutes remaining McKee took Pitbull to the ground and worked for the ground and pound. Pitbull worked his way back up to his feet and then pulled guard putting McKee in a tight choke but just when it looked like it would be over McKee got out and briefly put Pitbull in a choke to end the round.

Finally, the fans were happy.

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The fourth round was uneventful. McKee looked a bit gassed and neither were really in danger of being finished.

Going into the fifth and final round and the media and broadcasting scorecards were all over the place. Unfortunately it wasn’t a clear cut round and no matter who won, there would be controversy.

In their first bout, the finale for the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix, Patricio was on the losing end of a quick finish. McKee remained undefeated and won the $1 million prize and Pitbull’s title.

After the bout, Pitbull dropped his second title, the lightweight belt so that he could focus on the eventual rematch and so his brother Patricky could fight for the vacant strap.

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