Patricio Pitbull believes he will be the first fighter to defeat A.J. McKee.
In the main event of Bellator 255 on Friday, Pitbull successfully defended his featherweight championship with a first-round technical submission of Emmanuel Sanchez. The bout also served as the semifinals of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix, so Pitbull’s next title defense will be in the finals of that tournament against McKee.
McKee currently holds a 17-0 record and he finished all three of his grand prix opponents. When they meet later this year, Pitbull expects McKee to be unprepared for the kind of championship fight that Pitbull has become accustomed to.
“It’s a fight of five rounds,” Pitbull said at the Bellator 255 post-event press conference. “He’s gonna come to another place that he doesn’t know, it’s a competition for the belt, it’s different. Different preparation, everything’s gonna happen.
“He knows my power, he knows I’m dangerous. I know he’s scared.”
Pitbull did praise McKee’s accomplishments, calling the tournament final “perfect” given their respective paths to get there. This is Pitbull’s second reign as featherweight champion and he also currently holds Bellator’s lightweight title.
Given that he faced off with McKee immediately after Friday’s win, Pitbull suggested that the two fight immediately after being asked when he expected their matchup to be booked.
“I can do it now,” Pitbull said. “I’m ready. The cage is there, I’m here, he’s here, let’s do that. Call Showtime, let’s film this. That’s it.”
The two also exchanged words in the cage after their face-off, but Pitbull downplayed any bad blood that seems to exist between them.
“It’s a challenge,” Pitbull said. “I know he’s good, he’s young, but I told him to be a complete fighter, he deserves to be defeated. And he will be defeated by me. That’s what I told him.”
Pitbull called McKee the toughest matchup for him in Bellator’s featherweight division and while he wasn’t necessarily rooting for McKee to take care of business on his side of the grand prix bracket, he was well aware of the possibility that the two might clash for all the marbles.
The win over Sanchez made Pitbull the first Bellator fighter to record 20 victories for the promotion and the first to win 10 title fights. He already won one historic battle when he defeated three-time lightweight champion and fellow Bellator legend Michael Chandler at Bellator 221 in May 2019 and now he can add to his impeccable resume by handing McKee his first loss.
“I don’t know if it’s gonna be the greatest fight in history, but he’s been built up by Bellator from his whole career here at Bellator,” Pitbull said in Portuguese through his coach and translator Eric Albarracin. “He’s undefeated. He’s in the finals against me, so it’s gonna be one of the greatest fights of all time.”