When talking about Bellator MMA and the mention of the last names Pitbull or McKee are brought up, there’s immediate history, championship allure, and a rivalry among three of the best to ever grace the Bellator cage. Patricio, the reigning featherweight champion has gone 1-1 against A.J. McKee, losing to him the featherweight World Grand Prix, but then bringing their matchup to even when he won by decision in their rematch for the 145-pound title. Now, his brother Patricky Pitbull will look to get his own victory against McKee when they fight to open up the Lightweight World Grand Prix at Bellator vs Rizin 2 on July 29.
Before the rematch loss, McKee had been undefeated and has bounced back to win two straight, moving up to the lightweight division and opening with one of the best matchups for Bellator this year against Patricky. The former lightweight champion himself, the older brother of Patricio, Patricky spoke with MyMMANews.com about the matchup against McKee, what it means to fight in Japan, and his hopes to get a rematch in the World Grand Prix Finals.
Ahead of his fight against McKee, Patricky Pitbull says there was undoubtedly an interest and determination in getting to fight McKee because of the history between him and his brother. With the fight happening in Japan, it brings even more importance and significance to what should be a special night in the cross-promotion event.
“I think it’s a good history because my brother fought against him twice, so now I will fight against him and I think it’s a good history. I believe we make good history and now is my chance to beat him and take my next opponent. I love it [in Japan] because the fans love me, I love the fans, and it’s special. It’s special to do the first fight in the tournament there, to me, it’s perfect.”
Not only is there good history for him and A.J. McKee, but the way the bracket has been set for the Lightweight World Grand Prix, there is a chance that Patricky Pitbull will have the opportunity to rematch Usman Nurmagomedov in the finals, if they both got there, for the $1 million grand prize, and the lightweight world title. There was no hesitation from Pitbull in letting it be known that he hopes to see Nurmagomedov in the finals.
“Yes, of course. It’s a good history to finish the tournament. I believe it’s going to be great and wonderful.”
Knowing what’s at stake and how special the night will be fighting in Japan, Pitbull credited and gave compliments to his upcoming opponent and added these are the fights he loves to be involved in because the excitement will be there for all.
“A.J. is a dangerous fighter. He’s sometimes crazy. He will do a spin-kick, after the kick he’ll try to takedown, he’s like a street fighter, I love it, I love it. I love fights like this, it’s going to be exciting, I love the idea [of fighting him].”
The excitement will be there both inside the cage and in the crowd for one of the best matchups on paper for Bellator MMA as a whole this year, and as he sets his sights on an eventual rematch, Patricky Pitbull is not alone in the pursuit of his big goals. Despite failing to become a three-division world champion at Bellator 297 last month, Patricky stated that his brother Patricio still has the goal to become the first fighter to ever hold titles in three divisions for a major promotion.
“Yes, of course, he still wants the third belt. He still think about this, he still believes about this. When he thinking about this, I believe he can take it.”
Patricio and Patricky Pitbull already have championship legacies, as does Patricky’s opponent, A.J. McKee, and so when the two of them faceoff in front of a packed crowd in Japan to kickoff the Lightweight World Grand Prix, there’s going to be a special feeling throughout the arena. The story of McKee-Pitbull will add another chapter, as Patricky Pitbull looks to begin a new chapter, his road to redemption and winning back the Bellator MMA lightweight title.
Watch the full video above for the interview with Patricky Pitbull.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310