BELLATOR MMA’s Featherweight and Light-weight World Champion Patricio Pitbull (32-4) and undefeated top-ranked challenger AJ McKee (17-0) previewed their must-watch Featherweight World Grand Prix Remaining and 145-pound title struggle throughout a heated press convention on Thursday, simply two days earlier than they enter the cage in the principle occasion of Saturday evening’s BELLATOR 263 dwell on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from The Discussion board in Inglewood, Calif. Click on HERE to observe the alternate on the finish of as we speak’s press convention.
The end result of the almost two-year featherweight match that includes the best BELLATOR athlete within the historical past of the promotion and the corporate’s greatest homegrown fighter of all-time comes with a one-million-dollar grand prize on the road.
Saturday’s thrilling card additionally options former featherweight title challenger and No. 2 ranked Emmanuel Sanchez versus Denmark’s No. 8 ranked Mads Burnell and light-weight bouts between Usman Nurmagomedov and Manny Muro and Brent Primus and Islam Mamedov. The SHOWTIME telecast opens with a light-weight bout between No. 5 ranked Goiti Yamauchi and Chris Gonzalez.
Here’s what Pitbull, McKee and their coaches needed to say Thursday:
Patricio Pitbull, BELLATOR Featherweight World Champion & BELLATOR Light-weight World Champion
“This is among the greatest fights of my profession. I’ve fought a number of guys that had been very powerful too. I beat Michael Chandler which was revenge for me. Now could be a brand new alternative to point out my expertise.”
“He’s very nervous, he doesn’t wish to be there within the cage. When your enemy is making a mistake, don’t interrupt him.”
I fought 4 instances in opposition to somebody like McKee, it was Daniel Straus. I really feel snug, I’ve a number of coaching companions in my gymnasium like him.”
AJ McKee, No. 1 Ranked BELLATOR Featherweight & Featherweight World Grand Prix Finalist
“I plan on preventing sensible, conserving my vary, and making him carry the struggle. Everybody goes on the market and rushes him, so let’s see what he does.”
“All my coaching in my complete life has been constructed up for this second. I’ve been on large phases since I used to be a child. He thinks I’m nervous however I believe that’s him making an attempt to self-reflect and push his little self on me.
“There’s positively lots on the road. Being undefeated, there may be an additional 0, it’s not simply the six in that test I’m preventing for. I’m preventing to dwell up my legacy, proceed my father’s legacy, and be a champ. It’s now time for me to go get my belt.”
“At 18-0 within the group there’s nothing left for me within the division. What extra can I do? I wish to go conquer the 155-pound title as properly. I’ve been calling for it, earlier than anybody did it I mentioned I used to be going to be champ-champ. It’s time for me to go get my objectives.”
“For 22 years I’ve been dreaming for this second. It’s now right here so that you embrace it and revel in each second of it, and also you proceed to construct off of it.”
“It’s not going to the championship rounds. He doesn’t wish to go championship rounds, I do know that. If it comes all the way down to it I can struggle 5 fives. The Pat Curran struggle was an ideal instance, it was three 5 minute rounds of straightforward work. To do one other two rounds like that’s bread and butter.”
“Laborious work and dedication is the important thing. My three 12 months outdated brother is a gymnasium rat already. I need him to struggle for the love of the artwork of preventing and for the love of the game.”
“You wish to know what disrespect was? I requested Pitbull to signal a newspaper for my legacy and to hold up on my wall sooner or later. Disrespect was crossing my image out.”
“Keep in mind while you mentioned you had been going to beat my ass in entrance of my father? I’m going to beat your ass in entrance of your spouse and children. Now the disrespect is out. The cat is out of the bag now.”
Scott Coker, BELLATOR President
“It is a relaunch of Bellator. We’ve got had about 16 months of doing fights in a closed surroundings the place we now have needed to do fights with out an viewers. It’s been difficult for the fighters and the employees, and it’s been a grind, however we’re lastly right here.”
“We’ve got introduced some nice fights developing not simply domestically however worldwide. The struggle this Saturday is an unbelievable important occasion. Once I was watching the pairings I used to be truthfully sitting there hoping that A.J. and Pitbull could be the ultimate struggle. Right here we’re 15 months later with $1 million on the road, the belt, and the match belt. I want each fighter’s good luck.”
“Pitbull has been the champ since this A.J. got here right here, that’s how lengthy he’s been caring for enterprise. That’s why this struggle will likely be so attention-grabbing.”
“Sports activities want followers, and followers want sports activities. The followers are the oxygen of the individuals competing. When there’s no viewers it doesn’t imply individuals can’t compete and do their greatest, however on the finish of the day I do consider the followers could make a distinction within the end result of a struggle.”
“This struggle made a variety of sense for Los Angeles, and I’m glad we did it right here. It’s the appropriate place to have this struggle.”
Antonio McKee, Workforce Bodyshop Head Coach
“We’re both psychic or we now have some sort of prophecy factor happening right here. This has all been written since he was three, it has occurred step-by-step. He wrote one million greenback test when he was ten years outdated and he couldn’t even spell a million.
We’d like to ensure we feature ourselves with respect and delight. We wish to be revered and we wish to be a trendsetter for individuals who wish to do that sport. We wish to be the instance.
It’s as much as him. He has the IQ when he’s on the market. He is aware of what he’s doing, I’ve a variety of confidence in what he’s doing, and I consider in him.
We don’t speak smack about Pitbull, we simply state info. My son is youthful, he’s longer, he’s stronger, he quicker, and he doesn’t have the identical mouth on him.”
BELLATOR 263: Pitbull vs. McKee Foremost Card:
Saturday, July 31 – Reside on SHOWTIME
10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Featherweight World Title Foremost Occasion: C-Patricio Pitbull (32-4) vs. #1-AJ McKee (17-0)
Featherweight Bout: #2-Emmanuel Sanchez (20-5) vs. #8-Mads Burnell (15-3)
Light-weight Bout: Usman Nurmagomedov (12-0) vs. Manny Muro (12-6)
Light-weight Bout: Brent Primus (10-1) vs. Islam Mamedov (19-1-1)
Light-weight Bout: #5-Goiti Yamauchi (25-5) vs. Chris Gonzalez (6-0)
BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | SHOWTIME Sports activities YouTube Channel | Pluto TV
7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Ladies’s Flyweight Bout: #10-Vanessa Porto (22-9) vs. Ilara Joanne (9-5)
150 lb. Contract Weight Bout: Gadzhi Rabadanov (15-4-2) vs. Daniel Carey (7-4)
Featherweight Bout: Khasan Magomedsharipov (5-0) vs. Jonathan Quiroz (3-4)
180 lb. Contract Weight Bout: Joshua Jones (10-5) vs. Johnny Cisneros (13-7)
Light-weight Bout: Georgi Karakhanyan (30-11-1) vs. Kiefer Crosbie (8-2)
Bantamweight Bout: Brian Moore (13-7) vs. Jordan Winski (11-2)
190 lb. Contract Weight Bout: Justin Barry (professional debut) vs. Daniel Compton (4-3)