Bellator 263 event could very well turn out to be the biggest event in the promotion's history. Featherweight stalwart Patricio 'Pitbull' Freire went up against A.J. McKee in the main event with the world featherweight title on the line.
McKee came into the fight with an undefeated record and challenged for the title against 'Pitbull' in the Featherweight World Grand Prix final. The event took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California. There was a lot more than just the title at stake because the winner would also walk away with $1 million along with the strap.
The bad blood between A.J. McKee and Patricio Freire was on full display at the press conference ahead of the fight. They had to be separated before the altercation turned physical.
Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee main card results and highlights
Goiti Yamauchi def. Chris Gonzalez via TKO (R1)
Goiti Yamauchi made the entire Bellator lightweight division take notice of his prowess inside the cage tonight. In a back-and-forth slugfest, it was Yamauchi who got his hand raised via TKO in the first round. After exchanging strikes with each other in the center of the cage, a vicious straight right from Yamauchi knocked down Gonzalez.
The Japanese-born Brazilian fighter followed the knockdown with some nasty ground-and-pound strikes before the referee stepped in and called for an end to the contest. This marked the first defeat of Gonzalez's career.
Islam Mamedov def. Brent Primus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, and 29-28)
With Khabib Nurmagomedov in his corner, Islam Mamedov managed to overcome Brent Primus in a three-round lightweight war at Bellator 263.
The Dagestani fighter controlled most of the fight on the ground but also got tagged by Primus from the bottom position quite a few times. In the end, the judges observed control time as the deciding factor, with two of the three scoring the bout in favor of Mamedov.
Usman Nurmagomedov def. Manny Muro via TKO (R1)
Undefeated prodigy Usman Nurmagomedov made his cousin Khabib Nurmagomedov proud with a brilliant performance at Bellator 263. Usman destroyed his opponent in the lightweight fight using his prolific striking skills.
A full-blooded knee strike to the liver followed by a flurry of ground-and-pound shots in the first round was all it took Usman Nurmagomedov to get the job done. The Dagestani extended his undefeated streak to 13-0 with the win.
Mads Burnell def. Emmanuel Sanchez via unanimous decision
The co-main event of Bellator 263 saw Burnell put up a dominant performance and secure a lopsided unanimous decision victory against Sanchez in their featherweight contest.
The Danish fighter had seven successful takedowns in the fight, and that was likely the key to his victory on the night. Having beaten the No.2-ranked featherweight contender tonight, Burnell might soon compete for the title.
A.J. McKee def. Patricio 'Pitbull' Freire via submission (R1)
A.J. McKee is the real deal, ladies and gentlemen. McKee shocked the entire world by picking up a stunning first-round submission win against former double champ Patricio Freire in the main event of Bellator 263. After rocking 'Pitbull' with a perfectly timed head kick, McKee threw a flurry of strikes to drop the Brazilian.
The American then locked in a very tight guillotine on Freire, who was pressed up against the cage. The former champ was clearly out on his feet as referee Mike Beltran intervened to stop the fight. A.J. McKee is the new king of the Bellator featherweight division, and he's also taking home the coveted $1 million for his performance on the night. With the win, McKee moved on to 18-0 in his professional career.
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