Bellator 276 Preview

Saturday night, Bellator returns to action and they have a very solid fight card coming to Showtime. In the main event of the evening, two of the best featherweights in the promotion will clash over five rounds as Adam Borics (17-1) takes on Mads Burnell (16-3).

This fight has huge implications in the Bellator featherweight division. Coming up next month, AJ McKee and Patricio Pitbull will be rematching for the featherweight title. Depending on the result of that fight, whoever wins this fight at Bellator 276 could very well be next in line.

Since joining Bellator back in 2017, Adam Borics has nearly been perfect. He’s 8-1 with the lone loss coming via submission against Darrion Caldwell. Most notably, Borics has a knockout win over Aaron Pico and he looked great in his decision win over Jeremy Kennedy last April.

Mads Burnell is going to be looking to stay perfect inside the Bellator cage. After a 1-2 run in the UFC a few years back, Burnell went on a run that landed him with Bellator. After joining the promotion, he’s stormed out of the gate.

He has fought three times and won all three fights. Most notably, he defeated two-time title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez by decision. As mentioned, this main event at Bellator 276 is very likely a title eliminator at 145 pounds.

Rest of Bellator 276

In addition to the big time featherweight main event, Bellator 276 has some additional fights that fans should be paying attention to. One to look at would be the co-main event which features former light heavyweight champion Phil Davis (23-6) and Julius Anglickas (10-2).

Last time we saw Phil Davis was when he took on Yoel Romero in Romero’s Bellator debut. Davis used a wrestling heavy attack to fatigue Romero and he won a split decision although it was pretty unanimous in my opinion.

That win made him 4-1 in his last five with the lone loss coming to Vadim Nemkov. The last time we saw Anglickas was when he stepped in on short-notice to take on Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 268. Anglickas almost shocked the world when he hurt Nemkov, but he couldn’t put the champion away.

Ultimately, Anglickas fell to the champion. Now, he’s looking to take out a former champion in his first fight back. One more fight to keep your eye on is the middleweight contest between John Salter (18-5) and Johnny Eblen (10-0).

Given how shallow middleweight is, if Eblen gets the win, he could be next in line to fight Gegard Mousasi. Multiple potential title eliminators will happen at Bellator 276 which should create a fun show.

Is McKee – Pitbull 2 at 155 the fight for Bellator to make? The featherweight champ thinks so

AJ McKee

It’s been about one month since Bellator 263 and the conclusion of the Featherweight Grand Prix. In the finals, AJ McKee (18-0) took on arguably the greatest fighter in Bellator in history in Patricio Pitbull (32-5).

Pitbull was the Bellator featherweight and lightweight champion entering the contest. He hadn’t lost at featherweight since his 2015 decision loss to Daniel Straus. A loss that Pitbull avenged a year and a half later.

AJ McKee has been the heralded prospect of Bellator since he made his promotional debut. McKee had spent all 17 of his professional fights fighting under the Bellator banner. After years of winning and improving, this was finally his shot.

McKee didn’t let the moment slip away. While many were betting on the long-reigning champion to get it done, McKee was ready to show the world that he’s the best that the promotion has to offer.

The fight seemingly ended before it even started. Just under two minutes into the Bellator 263 headliner, McKee landed a vicious head kick and combination that seemingly had Pitbull out. McKee then put Pitbull in a standing guillotine to choke him out and become the new featherweight champion.

What will Bellator do with McKee next?

When it comes to Bellator, AJ McKee is on top of the world. He’s the best the promotion has to offer, he has star power, and he’s undefeated. The real question is what’s next for the featherweight champion.

McKee spoke with Ariel Helwani this week and was honest about the fact that he didn’t know. He did say that he believes the fight to make is him facing off against Patricio Pitbull for the lightweight title.

However, at this time, it doesn’t appear that Bellator is leaning in that direction. There are a few options for the promotion. One option would be to have the two run things back at featherweight.

This is certainly not what McKee wants, but it is what Pitbull wants. Pitbull has put in the time with Bellator to gain good favor with the promotion. It’s possible they grant him a rematch at 145 pounds.

Another possibility is that McKee defends his featherweight title against top contender Mads Burnell (16-3). Burnell would give McKee a new look and he’s currently riding a seven-fight win streak.

The other option would be to have McKee take a fight at lightweight, but not against Pitbull. This would give the Bellator champion a taste of 155 pounds without actually putting him in there with the champion. I believe this is the least likely of the three scenarios.

Based on the whispers, my guess is that McKee will defends his 145 pounds title next. If I had to make a prediction, I think Burnell gets the nod. I don’t believe Bellator is doing the immediate rematch, and a win for McKee and another win for Pitbull would make their rematch even bigger regardless of what weight class it’s in.