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Bellator 277: Patricio Pitbull defeats AJ McKee to become a three-time featherweight champion

The story below contains details of what happened at Bellator 277. You can check out the main card here and highlights from 9pm on BBC iPlayer (UK only) and BBC Three.

Brazil’s Patricio Pitbull continued his perfect record in rematches when he handed AJ McKee the first loss of his career at Bellator 277 to capture the featherweight title for the third time.

The fight was a Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix Final rematchwhere McKee submitted Pitbull to capture the 145-pound title and $1 million tournament prize.

But in the rematch at the SAP Center in San Jose, Pitbull, 34, came through a highly competitive fight, with all three cage judges scoring the fight 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 in favor of the Brazilian, who recorded the 33rd victory, and the sixth rematch victory, of his career.

The fight started cautiously, with the 27-year-old McKee looking to score from distance and Pitbull looking to catch the American on his way inside. But Pitbull began to find a home for his shots in the second round and landed a pair of eyes. -catch body shots towards the end of the round before returning to the corner with a raised hand.

The third round was Pitbull’s best. He stunned McKee with a big right hand and then, moments later, landed a tight triangle choke that seemed to have the champion in trouble for a moment before “The Mercenary” finally managed to escape.

McKee tried to increase his work rate in the last two rounds, but to no avail as all three judges scored the fight for Pitbull.

“He’s a tough guy. He’s a great opponent. It was a tough fight for me,” said Pitbull, who went on to explain his change in mindset from the first fight to the second.

“That day, I came for peace. Today, I came for war, and I will bring the belt home.”

No competition leaves the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix in limbo

Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson are expected to have a rematch after their fight was declared a no contest.

Confusion reigned in the night’s co-main event, where the light heavyweight title fight between champion Vadim Nemkov and top contender Corey Anderson was declared a no contest after an accidental clash of heads caused the fight to be stopped at the end. of the third round.

The pair met in the Bellator $1 million light heavyweight grand prize final, with Nemkov’s undisputed title also on the line. But, after an unfortunate incident, both men left the octagon disappointed.

After a hard-fought opening round, the 32-year-old Anderson took over in the second and third rounds with his dominant wrestling giving him a clear advantage over the 29-year-old Nemkov.

But when the pair butted heads during an exchange on the ground, the champion was left with a large gash over his left eye.

After referee Frank Trigg stopped the fight with seven seconds remaining in the round and brought in the cage doctor to inspect Nemkov’s injury, the fight was called off. Since the fight did not complete three full rounds, the matchup was declared a no contest.

It meant that Nemkov retained his title and the light heavyweight grand prix was left unsettled. Now it looks like a rematch will follow, with the two tournament finalists likely to meet for a second time later this year.

Vassell calls for a shot at the heavyweight title after first-round win

Linton Vassell celebrates his victory at Bellator 277 with his team
Linton Vassell celebrated his victory at Bellator 277 with his team

Opening the main card, English contender Linton “Big Swarm” Vassell moved one step closer to a shot at the Bellator heavyweight title with a TKO come from behind former interim title challenger Tim Johnson.

Vassell, 38, looked to be in big trouble early in the first round when Johnson, 37, caught him clean with a big right hand that sent him to the canvas.

But despite the American’s best efforts to finish the fight, Vassell managed to get out of trouble before turning things around.

Vassell took Johnson’s back, took an upright stance, then unloaded a heavy ground barrage and hit the American to complete a remarkable turnaround and force a TKO stoppage after four minutes and 21 seconds into the first round.

After his victory, Vassell asked Bellator president Scott Coker to give him a shot at the heavyweight title held by American Ryan Bader or a fight against number one contender Valentin Moldavsky.

Vassell said, “I’m the dirt guy. From the UK. With no wrestling background, I came to the States…and the rest is history.”

“We all know I want that title fight. So, title fight.

“Scott Coker, if I don’t understand that…Moldavsky.”

Vassell’s victory improved his record to 23-8 and extended his winning streak to four, with his victory over Johnson adding to previous successes against Sergei Kharitonov, Ronny Markes and Tyrell Fortune.

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