Bellator 286 results: Patricio Pitbull dominates, tells slaughtering crowd to ‘f*** you’; AJ McKee earns wild 155 debt… – MMA Fighting

Bellator 286 results: Patricio Pitbull dominates, tells slaughtering crowd to 'f*** you';  AJ McKee earns wild 155 debt... - MMA Fighting

Patrick Pitbull is still Bellator’s best.

The reigning featherweight champion penned his eighth successful title defense and the first of his third run with the belt with a split decision victory over Adam Borics in the main event of Bellator 286 on Saturday in Long Beach, Calif. All three judges had Pitbull as the winner by scores of 48-47, 49-46 and 50-45.

Pitbull (34-5) was simply too experienced and too experienced for the younger Borics (18-2), who didn’t muster much meaningful offense before a late rally in Round 5. Outside of that, Pitbull won the majority of the striking exchanges . with accurate and powerful punches while also mixing in takedowns to neutralize Borics.

The dominant win didn’t sit well with everyone in the crowd at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, so Pitbull used the first part of his post-fight interview to address the jeers.

“Why are you booing me?” Pitbull asked. “I’m the f***** champion. I’m the f***** GOAT. Fuck you, everybody.”

Pitbull was then asked who he would fight next, and the former 155-pound champion suggested that recently discussed move to bantamweight makes sense with a top featherweight contender Aaron Peak suffering an upset loss earlier in the night after injuring his shoulder.

“I was thinking about Aaron Pico, but he dislocated his shoulder, and now I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Pitbull said. “Maybe I’ll go down to the bantamweight division and take that belt too.”

The taller Borics struggled to get his striking going throughout the fight, with Pitbull countering the Hungarian’s signature flying knee strike on multiple occasions, either with a counter strike or a well-timed takedown.

When Borics didn’t go for broke, Pitbull was content to pick him off at a distance and control him with his grappling. It was a sharp, methodical performance from the Brazilian big man, who was rarely in danger during the five-round contest. Pitbull cruised to his second straight win and his eighth in his past nine bouts.

In the co-main event, AJ McKee (19-1) made a successful lightweight debut against wild and scrappy Spike Carlyle (14-4), winning a unanimous decision (29-26, 30-26, 30-27). The tone of the attack was set in the opening seconds when Carlyle came out of his corner with a flying kick and started winging haymakers.

Carlyle stayed on the offensive as he attacked McKee from inside his guard, but McKee showed superior grappling and worked off his back to initiate offense and finish the round on Carlyle’s back.

More heated striking exchanges occur throughout the fight, but McKee’s grappling and jiu-jitsu proved to be the difference as he put Carlyle on the mat and attacked with ground strikes and submissions from multiple positions. Sanga Carlyle showed extraordinary toughness, but McKee did more than enough to take the win on the scorecards in the end.

Post-fight, McKee was asked if he was still interested in returning to the 145-pound division, and he replied that he would only drop back for a title fight. Otherwise, he plans to participate in the just announced Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix that will happen in 2023. McKee previously won a Bellator featherweight tournament that ended in him capturing a championship belt and a $1 million prize.

Also on the main card, Jeremy Kennedy (18-3, 1 NC) scored a huge upset win over Aaron Pico (10-4), though probably not in the way he wanted. During an open flurry, Pizza dislocated his shoulderand despite his team apparently plugging it back into place between rounds, the referee and ringside doctor agreed that Pico’s injury was severe enough that he could not continue.

Former Bellator bantamweight champion John Archuleta (26-4) opened the show by ending a two-fight skid with a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) win over Henry Barzola (18-7-2). “The Spaniard” came out firing in Round 1 and knocked out Barzola during a fast-paced 15-minute fight, although the bout was not without its hair-raising moments.

Archuleta nearly hit Barzola with an illegal head kick to a grounded opponent in the first round (Barzola deflected it with his arm), and Barzola also had success throwing sharp elbows as Archuleta went for takedowns against the fence. However, Archuleta continued to find success on the feet and mixed in timely takedowns to secure the win.

Check here for full Bellator 286 results.

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