Bellator 286 is set to take place on October 1st at Long Beach Arena in California. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is set to defend his Featherweight belt against Adam Borics. The co-main event is a lightweight bout between former Featherweight champion A.J. McKee and Spike Carlyle. Many expected a trilogy bout between Freire and McKee to settle the rivalry. McKee expressed interest in moving up to lightweight before and after the second fight with Freire. Bellator has decided to oblige him and allow him to move to lightweight despite his contract situation. Freire will now focus on retaining his Featherweight belt and continuing to establish himself as one of the top fighters in Featherweight history.
Bellator 286: Freire vs Borics
Freire is coming into this fight on a high after getting his belt back from A.J. McKee. Borics is coming into this fight on a four-fight win streak. Freire will likely be the favorite coming into the fight as he is one of Bellator’s most decorated fighters. Borics however will be a stiff test. He has a 9-1 record in Bellator. He is a boxer that has good speed and will be able to frustrate Freire. Borics will want to keep this fight standing however he has shown that he has the ability to finish fights with submissions. Freire likes to keep fights standing so he will be comfortable with getting in a pure striking match with Borics. Freire is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division. He has great abilities in striking, knockout power, wrestling, and dangerous jiu-jitsu. Freire’s experience in title fights will give him an edge. Borics is not a stranger to five-round fights or main events so he should be able to handle the pressure and demands of a title fight. This is a fight that will mostly play out on the feet and will be a flashy display of striking.
Bellator 286: McKee vs Carlyle
McKee is going to make his Lightweight debut. He is going to be doing so against veteran Spike Carlyle. McKee is one of the top prospects in MMA. He is only twenty-seven years old and has already been a champion in one of the major MMA organizations. He holds a professional record of 18-1 with every fight coming under Bellator. Spike is on a five-fight win streak with all five fights coming in different promotions. McKee is an expert grappler that loves to finish fights on the ground with submissions. He also has the ability to take opponents down and ground and pound. Spike is a fan favorite fighter as he always looks for the finish. Like McKee, he is very comfortable on the ground but he also possesses knockout power. This fight has the potential to play out both on the feet and on the ground. McKee will need to regain his focus if he wants to improve his value before free agency. Spike can earn contender status with a big win against McKee.
What does this mean for the trilogy?
McKee is believed to only have 2 fights left on his Bellator contract. McKee would likely fight for the title if he is able to get past Spike. Pitbull would welcome a trilogy fight but he is adamant about staying at 145. His brother is currently the lightweight champion and he doesn’t want to step on his toes. If a trilogy fight were to happen it would be at 145. The most likely outcome is McKee challenging Patricky Pitbull for the lightweight belt after victories at Bellator 286.
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