Time may soon tell whether or not Patricio
Freire has finally encountered a hurdle he cannot clear.
“Pitbull” will challenge the unbeaten A.J. McKee for
MMA featherweight championship when their blockbuster rematch
Bellator 277 on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose,
California. McKee submitted the Brazilian with a first-round
guillotine choke in the featherweight grand prix final at Bellator
263 on July 31, the life-altering victory bringing with it the
company’s undisputed title at 145 pounds. Neither man has fought
since, and Freire has never lost to the same man twice.
As McKee and Freire focus attention on their second meeting in a
little more than eight months, a look at some of the numbers that
have accompanied them to this point:
27: Years of age for McKee, who was born on April
7, 1995 in Long Beach, California.
7: McKee wins by submission, accounting for 39% of
his career total (18). His methods of choice: two rear-naked
chokes, two guillotine chokes, one anaconda choke, one armbar and
one neck crank. McKee owns six other wins by knockout or technical
knockout and five more by decision.
71: Seconds needed for McKee to dispatch Darrion
Caldwell with a neck crank under the Bellator 253 marquee on
Nov. 19, 2020. It ranks as his quickest submission to date.
3: Countries in which McKee has plied his MMA
trade. He has gone 16-0 in the United States, 1-0 in Ireland and
1-0 in Italy.
98: Combined victories between the four
men—Freire, Caldwell, Georgi
Karakhanyan and Derek
Campos—McKee defeated to win the Bellator featherweight grand
prix. They boast a cumulative .731 winning percentage
34: Years of age for Freire, who was born on July
7, 1987 in Natal, Brazil.
11: Freire victories by knockout or technical
knockout, accounting for 34% of his career total (32). His list of
Bellator victims: Karakhanyan, Pedro
Downing and Wilson Reis.
Freire holds 12 other victories by submission and nine more by
65: Rounds completed by Freire as a professional
mixed martial artist. He has gone the distance on 12 different
occasions and carries a 9-3 record in those bouts.
61: Seconds needed for Freire to cut down Chandler
with punches in the Bellator 221 main event on May 11, 2019. Having
occurred nearly three years ago, it remains the fastest finish of
his 37-fight career.