In front of a hometown crowd, A.J McKee fulfilled his destiny as he made quick work of Patricio Freire to win both the Bellator featherweight championship and its eight-man grand prix.
With both men starting out the bout tentatively, a flush head kick by the 26-year old prodigy would burst the contest into life and send the Brazilian champion stumbling backwards.
‘Mercenary’ would then swarm on his opponent and a flurry of punches sent ‘Pitbull’ to the mat only for a premature celebration allowing him to slowly regain his footing.
Sensing that the end was nigh, McKee would jump on Freire’s neck and pull with all his might on a standing guillotine choke that brought a close to the contest and extended his perfect record to 18-0.
A.J. McKee def. Patricio Freire via submission (guillotine choke) (Round 1, 1:57)
Mads Burnell def. Emmanuel Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Usman Nurmagomedov def. Manny Muro via TKO (Round 1, 3:30)
Islam Mamedov def. Brent Primus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Goiti Yamauchi def. Chris Gonzalez via TKO (Round 1, 3:03)
Vanessa Porto def. Ilara Joanne via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Gadzhi Rabadanov def. Daniel Carey via KO (Round 1, 3:57)
Khasan Magomedsharipov def. Jonathan Quiroz via TKO (Round 2, 4:21)
Joshua Jones def. Johnny Cisneros via TKO (Round 2, 4:15)
Georgi Karakhanyan def. Kiefer Crosbie via submission (arm-triangle choke) (Round 1, 4:25)
Brian Moore def. Jordan Winski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)