For almost 27 months, Brazilian MMA fighter Patrício “Pittbull” Freire ruled two divisions in Bellator. Last summer, however, he lost the first of the championship belts after the then undefeated AJ McKee, and subsequently gave up the latter in favor of his older brother. Tonight, however, the South American appeared in the best light in a five-lap retaliation and returned to the throne of feather weight.
From the first round we could watch a very fun match, because none of the fighters wanted to tactfully. In the introductory part, we witnessed several very decent skirmishes and also both fighters convinced us that they have great digging equipment. But none of them stood out above the other and it was a very balanced round.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) April 16, 2022
In the second round, Freire, who was waiting for the opponent’s attacks, started to push more corners and with the help of his high kicks he embarked on great counterparts, hitting McKee’s head and body several times. This style easily threw him away, and it was obvious that he was having trouble finding the right rhythm and getting back into the duel. Fortunately for him, in the end, nothing very important happened, although he clearly lagged behind in this part.
The third round was quite possibly the decisive factor for the result of the entire fight. Freire hit the opponent’s hard back right on the head and his knees broke. But McKee did not intend to end and with all his might he grabbed the Brazilian by the limbs, and in the end he managed to bring the match to the ground, where he could calm the situation.
After a while, he tried to get back into position, but Freire tried to quit again. He wrapped his arm around McKee’s neck and yanked him back to the ground. At the moment, it didn’t look good at all with the American, but in the end he still managed to get out of this grip and survived until the end of the middle part.
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) April 16, 2022
McKee added the necessary energy in his corner and came to the fourth round as a replacement. He chased Freire around the cage and clearly outnumbered him in his blows. And even though he did not manage to end the match, he definitely improved his points and approached his opponent.
In the fifth round, however, Freire was again in a better position, who managed to avoid the opponent’s attacks very well and at the same time counteracted himself very dangerously several times. McKee had no choice but to try another takedown, which he succeeded in and even managed to get to the top position on the floor, from which he did not come up with anything cool by the end of the duel.
In the end, the scorers had the result of the match and all three agreed that Freire was better (48-46, 49-46, 48-47). He could rejoice in regaining his old familiar trophy, while McKee had to try a really bitter pill in the form of the very first defeat in his career after eighteen victories in a row.