Bellator 286: Freire vs. Borics, McKee vs. Carlyle Lead Long Beach Card

Patricio Pitbull, Bellator 255
Patricio Pitbull, Bellator 255 Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator will be returning to Long Beach with featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire facing Adam Borics and the lightweight debut of AJ McKee against Spike Carlyle on October 1.

Patricio “Pitbull” Freire will be heading into the backyard of rival AJ McKee, but a rubber match is not what’s next for both men.  The Long Beach Press Telegram reported the news Wednesday morning that Freire will be defending his featherweight title against Adam Borics while former champion McKee will be facing UFC, Bellator, and RIZIN veteran Spike Carlyle on October 1 in Long Beach, California.

After reclaiming his featherweight title from McKee in April, Freire (33-5) is looking to continue his dominance of Bellator’s 145 pound weight class.  Freire’s 8-1 run since 2017 is amongst the best seen by any fighter in the sport as he became a two-division champion and established himself as the best fighter currently competing to have never fought in the UFC.  Borics (18-1) is looking to have his breakout moment after having blazed an impressive 9-1 record in Bellator.  After coming up short in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix in 2019, “The Kid” bounced back with four consecutive wins to reestablish himself as a top contender in the division.

The born and raised Long Beach native McKee will be making his lightweight debut after having put together an amazing 18-1 record completely in the Bellator cage.  A part of the company since he was 20 years old, “The Mercenary” has developed into one of the best and most popular fighters on the roster as he capped off his 2021 by defeating Freire to claim the title and Grand Prix championship.  The fight will be McKee’s first since losing the belt in a five round effort to Freire earlier this year, after which he said he was done at 145 pounds as the weight cut has become more difficult as he has grown physically over the years.  Carlyle is also a Southern California native who was signed to the UFC after a 9-1 run on the regional scene.  He was released after a 1-2 showing, but has since gone 4-0 with appearances in LFA, Cage Warriors, Bellator, and RIZIN.

The event is set to take place at the Long Beach Convention Center.  No other undercard bouts have been announced at this time.