Patricio Pitbull’s third reign as Bellator Bantamweight Champion continued on Saturday night, cruising to a unanimous decision win after five rounds against Adam Borics.
Pitbull’s win served as the main event of Bellator 286 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, California, USA.
Pitbull had sharper striking than Borics throughout the 25 minutes that they competed. Neither fighter got significantly hurt during the fight, although Pitbull was often able to connect with the cleaner shots and win rounds.
Pitbull also took controlling positions against Borics at times, mounting his back in two different instances during the bout.
The fight wasn’t necessarily an action-packed bout, which came to the disapproval of the live crowd. The audience started to produce a muted boo once the final round concluded.
Pitbull regained the Bellator Bantamweight Championship in April, avenging a loss he took against AJ McKee Jr. in 2021. His previous reign as 145-pound champion kicked off in 2017 and included five successful title defenses.
Borics worked for a long time to earn a title fight. He has fought on the Bellator roster since 2018 and scored nine wins through 10 appearances before his appearance this weekend.
McKee Jr. Takes Decision Over Carlyle In Lightweight Debut
AJ McKee Jr. won his lightweight debut in Saturday’s co-main event, prevailing against Spike Carlyle in a unanimous decision.
McKee Jr. controlled the chaotic style of Carlyle and used his success on the ground to gain a lead in the fight.
The lightweight newcomer quickly had to figure out how to control Carlyle. The UFC alum was hot out of the gates, charging toward McKee Jr. with punches and scrambling on the ground. McKee Jr. eventually was able to control Carlyle’s hectic style, pinning him to the mat for minutes at a time.
McKee Jr. cut Carlyle open with many shots during the fight, making the contest a bloody battle by the end. He went after many submissions while in dominant positions, but was never able to find a finish in the fight.
McKee Jr. was moving up a weight class after losing the Bellator Featherweight Championship to Patricio Pitbull earlier this year. Before that defeat, he had a flawless pro record of 18 wins.
Carlyle was riding the momentum of two high-profile wins. He had a stunning Bellator debut late last year, making a comeback to submit Dan Moret in the second round of a fight. He then went over to RIZIN this year, beating Koji Takeda on a card in April.
Arm Injury Ends Winning Streak For Pico
A tough Aaron Pico wanted to continue his fight against Jeremy Kennedy after one round on Saturday night, but a doctor stoppage due to an injury forced him from doing so.
A visible arm injury to Pico caused the doctor to end the fight after a round, giving Kennedy a win and ending Pico’s winning streak.
Pico seemingly suffered an injury to his left arm during the opening round. He started holding his arm during grappling exchanges but was able to survive until the end of the frame.
In-between rounds, a cornerman of Pico dramatically yanked his arm in an attempt to fix the disfiguration that occurred. But his arm continued to look out of place following this exchange, forcing the fight to end.
Pico had a six-fight winning streak heading into this weekend, with five of the bouts coming via finish.
Kennedy was coming off a victory over Emmanuel Sanchez from December 2021.
In his post-fight interview, Kennedy called for a fight against Pedro Carvalho.
“I’ve been chasing him for two years,” he said.
Archuleta Returns With Fast-Paced Performance
Juan Archuleta returned to the win column in the opening bout of the main card, putting together an impressive three-round performance against Enrique Barzola to win via unanimous decision.
Archuleta worked a fast-paced style against a game Barzola through all three rounds. Archuleta won the fight by charging forward with combinations of punches and challenging Barzola with takedown attempts.
Barzola was a tough opponent for Archuleta, resisting many takedown attempts and answering back with his own shots during stand-up exchanges. He had his biggest moment of the fight in the closing minute of the bout, getting on the back of Archuleta for a rear naked choke attempt.
The fight was Archuleta’s first win since dropping his Bellator Bantamweight Championship to Sergio Pettis in 2021. Along with that loss, he had recently suffered a finish defeat against Raufeon Stots in the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Barzola was also coming off a loss from the opening round of the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix. He was submitted in his quarter-final bout by Magomed Magomedov.
The Rest of the Card
The night ended with another slow-paced fight, as Keoni Diggs snapped a two-fight skid with a unanimous decision win against Ricardo Seixas in the sole postlim of the evening.
Bobby Seronio III remained undefeated in his three-round fight against Miguel Peimbert, walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
Islam Mamedov handed former LFA champion Nick Browne his first Bellator loss, cutting him open with ground and pound shots en route to a unanimous decision win.
Jay Jay Wilson earned his first victory at lightweight, putting on an incredibly close split decision victory over Vladimir Tokov. Wilson used his grappling skills despite being on his back frequently, constantly threatening Tokov with submission attempts.
Khalid Murtazaliev bounced back from his sole Bellator loss, using hard ground and pound shots to finish Khadzhimurat Bestaev.
Sumiko Inaba kept her undefeated record intact on Saturday night, going three rounds on the feet against Nadine Mandiau for a unanimous decision victory. Mandiau’s record is now a negative two wins and six losses.
Weber Almeida scored his seventh pro win through a stand-up battle against Ryan Lilley, walking away with a split decision in the end.
Lance Gibson Jr. scored a quick win on the prelims, catching Dominic Clark in the first round with a triangle choke to win his fight via submission.
Richard Palencia suffered his first loss in his Bellator debut, as an injury took him out of a bout against Cee Jay Hamilton. Palencia’s left leg became injured during the second round after he threw a leg kick, causing him to fall to the ground.
Bout 13: Keoni Diggs def. Ricardo Seixas via Decision, Unanimous
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 7:00PM PDT) (Showtime)
Bout 12: Patricio Pitbull def. Adam Borics via Decision, Unanimous (Bellator Featherweight Championship)
Bout 11: AJ McKee Jr. def. Spike Carlyle via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 10: Jeremy Kennedy def. Aaron Pico via TKO, Injury (RD 1, 5:00)
Bout 9: Juan Archuleta def. Enrique Barzola via Decision, Unanimous
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (Youtube)
Bout 8: Bobby Seronio III def. Miguel Peinbert via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 7: Islam Mamedov def. Nick Browne via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Jay Jay Wilson def. Vladimir Tokov via Decision, Split
Bout 5: Khalid Murtazaliev def. Khadzhimurat Bestaev via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:02)
Bout 4: Sumiko Inaba def. Nadine Mandiau via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Weber Almeida def. Ryan Lilley via Decision, Split
Bout 2: Lance Gibson Jr. def. Dominic Clark via Submission, Triangle Choke (RD 1, 1:49)
Bout 1: Cee Jay Hamilton def. Richard Palencia via TKO, Injury (RD 2, 2:01)