Friday night pits new Bellator Featherweight Champion AJ McKee Jr. against the former champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in what could be the biggest rematch in the promotion’s history. MMA odds have McKee as a sizable favorite after he submitted Pitbull in under two minutes as they headline the best card Bellator has put together in a long time.
- Date: Friday, April 15th 7:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: SAP Center
- Live stream: Bellator Live
Bellator 277 Main Card Preview
McKee and Pitbull Rematch for Potential Classic
- Moneyline: Patricio Pitbull +240, AJ McKee Jr -320
- Round Totals: Over 2½ (+125), Under 2½ (-155)
- Weight Class (Rounds): Bellator Featherweight Championship (145 lbs) (5 Rounds)
Rematches do not get bigger than this. On one side, you have the next big thing in MMA: AJ McKee Jr: unbeaten (18-0-0), exciting, and still only 27-years-old. On the other, you have the greatest fighter Bellator has ever produced: former two-division champion Patricio Pitbull.
McKee shocked everyone when he choked Pitbull unconscious in under two minutes. But Pitbull (32-5-0) is 5-1 in rematches and still has the experience edge over the champion. “Every fight is different” as the wise say so expect a drawn-out affair here with McKee edging the all-time great. The over 2½ round totals seem like a winner on the sportsbook.
Anderson Looks for Crowning Moment Against Nemkov
- Moneyline: Corey Anderson +140, Vadim Nemkov -170
- Round Totals: Over 3½ (-115), Under 3½ (-115)
- Weight Class (Rounds): Tournament Championship (205 lbs) (5 Rounds)
This one is not just for all the marbles at 205 but for the start of a potential rivalry. Corey Anderson is a man possessed since joining the promotion. He’s destroyed all of his opponents and now has his eyes set on Vadim Nemkov, the prodigy to Fedor Emelianenko, and unbeaten in Bellator as well (7-0).
Anderson (16-5-0) is a hot underdog here as he is bigger and has both the wrestling and striking to make Nemkov and all his backers sweat bullets. In a five-rounder, Nemkov could outlast Anderson. But he isn’t called “Overtime” for no reason and it’s worth betting online for him to pull off this upset.
Pico Makes Quick Work Of Edwards
- Moneyline: Adli Edwards +700, Aaron Pico -1400
- Round Totals: Over 1½ +140, Under 1½ -170
- Weight Class (Rounds): Featherweight (145 lbs) (3 Rounds)
It isn’t a Bellator event without homegrown prospects getting some shine, and prospects squashing the poor saps. In this case, Aaron Pico should dust Adli Edwards within one round. Pico (9-3-0) has let bettors down plenty of times and it’s hard to justify this ridiculous line on him.
But Edwards (9-1-0) is overmatched here and does not have the punching power to keep Pico honest. Pico should either knock Edwards out on their feet or via ground-and-pound. Instead of betting Pico straight, bet on the under at a more reasonable price.
Grapplers Johnson and Vassell to Slug It Out?
- Moneyline: Tim Johnson +110, Linton Vassell -140
- Round Totals: Over 2½ (+120), Under 2½ (-150)
- Weight Class (Rounds): Heavyweight (265 lbs) (3 Rounds)
When two wrestlers meet, it usually ends up becoming a sloppy striking contest. That’s what we can expect when Tim Johnson and Linton Vassell meet. But judging by the over/under, this one should end with a bang.
Johnson and Vassell are big dudes and even without perfect technique, the first well-placed punch either lands could finish the other. With a potential title shot offered for the winner, look for these contenders to leave everything in the cage.