Patricio Freire lost the Bellator Featherweight Title in the first round to AJ McKee but his team is already asking for a rematch in Brazil.
Freire put the 145-pound gold on the line this past Saturday night (July 31). The title fight headlined Bellator 263. It also served as the final bout in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.
“Pitbull” was rocked with a head kick early in the fight and went down after McKee landed some punches. McKee celebrated prematurely but latched onto a guillotine choke and that was a wrap.
“Pitbull’s” coach, Eric Albarracin, recently expressed his desire to see Patricio Freire get a rematch with McKee in his home country of Brazil (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“Brazilians don’t care, but Americans do, 16 games in the NFL are played to get a home-field advantage, 180 in baseball. He’s the world champ-champ, I mean, when you ask a warrior, ‘Hey, where do you wanna fight?’ They say, ‘Anywhere, anytime.’ But obviously not in the hometown of the challenger giving him all the advantages.”
Freire remains the Bellator Lightweight Champion. When asked during the post-fight press conference about McKee possibly fighting for “Pitbull’s” 155-pound gold, Bellator President Scott Coker said it was far too early to think about that.
Ahead of the victory over “Pitbull,” McKee told MMA News that he hopes to get some big cross-promotion bouts. McKee name-dropped UFC, PFL, and ONE Championship.
“Yeah, pound for pound, man, what’s up? Like I’ve said, unify these belts, and I’m willing to put my million up, I’m sure Showtime will put their million up, Bellator will put a million up, and let’s test the waters, man. Let’s see who really is pound for pound the best in the world: ONE FC, UFC, PFL, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, I know I’m one of the most elite athletes in the world in this sport. And I’m willing to show it. I’m willing to test my skills. But I don’t think other people are willing to do it because they know.”