Bellator close to finalizing rematch between AJ McKee and Patricio Pitbull

AJ McKee

Bellator is close to finalizing a massive rematch for the featherweight championship. Ariel Helwani reported earlier today that the promotion was inching closer to finalizing the highly anticipated rematch between featherweight champion AJ McKee (18-0) and Patricio Pitbull (32-5).

Per Helwani, the matchup is being targeted for a Bellator event in April. It’s not surprising at all to hear that the promotion is getting close to finalizing this matchup as the writing has been on the wall since they first fought back in July.

At the end of July at Bellator 263, McKee and Pitbull met in the finale of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. McKee was the superstar prospect while Pitbull is arguably the greatest and most decorated fighter in Bellator’s history. The fight would tell a lot regarding the future of the promotion.

Well, the fight didn’t last long as AJ McKee stormed through Pitbull in the first round. After rocking him badly on the feet, McKee choked out Pitbull to stake his claim as the face of Bellator and the best fighter in the promotion.

Bellator Title Rematch

The loss was the first featherweight loss for Pitbull since 2015. Outside of a leg injury loss to Benson Henderson in 2016, Pitbull had been basically perfect inside the Bellator cage over the past five/six years. However, McKee made it look easy when they fought.

Both McKee and Pitbull stormed through the featherweight grand prix and finished their two fights leading to the finals. These two meeting in the finals was the Bellator dream and it came to fruition in Los Angeles.

After the fight was over, there was speculation about what would be next. Would McKee rematch Pitbull at featherweight? Would McKee fight Pitbull at lightweight and try to become a two-division Bellator champion? Or, would McKee take on someone else entirely?

We got more clarity after Patricio Pitbull vacated the lightweight title to focus on featherweight. When that happened, the writing was on the wall and now we know the fight we are getting is the featherweight title rematch. Despite Pitbull’s historic success, expect McKee to be a big favorite when these two fight again in April.