Bellator MMA has a massive show in store for Friday, April 15th in San Jose, CA.
The promotion announced on Wednesday that the expected featherweight title rematch between new champion A.J. McKee and Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire will headline Bellator 277, with the light heavyweight title and grand prix final between Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson serving as the co-main event.
McKee (18-0) won the featherweight crown with a knockdown and subsequent technical submission of Freire to cap off a brilliant tournament run. The 26-year-old swiftly KO’d Georgi Karakhanyan, submitted Derek Campos, Darrion Caldwell, and finally ‘Pitbull’ to realize his dream of winning a world title. A Bellator fighter from his pro debut, he’s become one of the rising stars of the sport.
Freire (32-5) is considered to be the greatest Bellator fighter ever. He’s the all-time leader in wins (20) and has seven title defenses over his multiple stints as featherweight champion. Lest we forget that he also won the lightweight belt with a KO of Michael Chandler in 2019, but vacated the title last year. That decision paved the path for his brother Patricky Freire to win the belt by stopping Peter Queally in November.
Nemkov (15-2) is undefeated in his Bellator career, having captured the light heavyweight title with a dominant stoppage win of Ryan Bader in August 2020. He began the grand prix with yet another decision win over Phil Davis, followed by a kimura finish of tournament alternate Julius Anglickas in the semifinals. Nemkov was supposed to face Anthony Johnson in the semis, but health problems caused Johnson to withdraw.
Anderson (16-5) signed with Bellator in 2020 after he was granted his UFC release following a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz. After winning his Bellator debut over Melvin Manhoef, Anderson thrashed Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the quarterfinals and then quickly knocked out Bader in the semifinals to earn his title shot and a crack at $1 million.
Tickets for Bellator 277 go on sale on Friday, February 18th. Showtime will broadcast the main card at a start time of 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
About the author