Bellator has announced two big title fights for their April 15th event.
In the main event, undefeated Bellator Featherweight Champion AJ McKee will face former titleholder Patricio Pitbull in a rematch. The matchup provides a chance for Pitbull to avenge a quick loss he took against McKee Jr. in the grand final of a tournament last year.
That fight will headline Bellator 277, which is set to take place at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, USA.
It was reported earlier this month that Bellator was interested in booking a second fight between McKee Jr. and Pitbull.
McKee Jr. defeated Pitbull in July 2021, stopping him in the second minute of a fight via guillotine choke. This fight was in the final of a 16-man featherweight tournament that Bellator initially kicked off in 2019.
The result last year ended Pitbull’s second run as champ – a campaign that lasted over four years in total and made him one of the most dominant champions in the promotion’s history.
The fight also moved McKee Jr.’s record to an impressive flawless 18 wins and zero losses. His entire pro career has taken place in Bellator, where he has fought since 2015.
Nemkov, Anderson To Meet In Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Final
The grand final of Bellator’s Light Heavyweight Grand Prix is expected for the co-main event. In that matchup, reigning champ Vadim Nemkov will fight to defend his belt for the third time when facing former UFC fighter Corey Anderson.
Nemkov and Anderson fought their way through an eight-man bracket in 2021, winning twice each to get to the finals.
Nemkov started his run with a five-round unanimous decision win over veteran Phil Davis. He was then expected to face Anthony Johnson in the semi-finals but instead was paired against tournament alternate Julius Anglickas.
Nemkov dominated that fight, submitting Anglickas in the fourth round.
Anderson has picked up a finish in both of his tournament appearances. He spoiled the Bellator debut of Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the opening round, stopping him in the third round of the fight.
Anderson then secured a spot in the finals by beating former champ Ryan Bader in just 51 seconds with strikes.
Four Prelims Confirmed For Bellator 277
Bellator also confirmed four fights for the prelims of their April 15th show.
After losing an interim title fight and a bout to Fedor Emelianenko last year, veteran Timothy Johnson will return against Tyrell Fortune.
Returning after a successful two-win 2021, Kyle Crutchmer will face Michael Lombardo at welterweight. Lombardo’s last appearance saw him stop Kyron Bowen on a PFL card.
Undefeated welterweights Shane Keefe and Tyson Miller are expected to meet.
Both fighting to snap two-fight skids, Gaston Bolanos and Cass Bell will meet on the prelims.
Bout 6: AJ McKee Jr. (18-0) vs. Patricio Pitbull (15-5) (Bellator Featherweight Championship)
Bout 5: Vadim Nemkov (15-2) vs. Corey Anderson (16-5) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Final)
Bout 4: Timothy Johnson (15-8) vs. Tyrell Fortune (11-2) (Heavyweight)
Bout 3: Kyle Crutchmer (8-1) vs. Michael Lombardo (12-2) (Welterweight)
Bout 2: Shane Keefe (2-0) vs. Tyson Miller (2-0) (Welterweight)
Bout 1: Gaston Bolanos (5-3) vs. Cass Bell (5-2) (Catchweight 140 lbs)