It went from a war of words to all-out chaos as Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire and A.J. McKee came face-to-face at their Bellator 263 pre-fight press conference in Los Angeles.
We are just two days away from the highly-anticipated conclusion to the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix as Freire defends his belt against the top contender, McKee in the finals. Both fighters worked through some of the toughest featherweight fighters in the promotion on the way to the championship bout.
Following Freire’s last win over Emmanuel Sanchez in the semifinals, he faced off with a suited-up McKee in the center of the octagon after McKee had been part of the broadcast team for his fight. It was an intense, albeit respectful faceoff, but it appears all love is lost between the two top featherweights.
Freire and McKee engaged in some intense trash-talk at their pre-fight press conference between things turned from tense to violent. The trash talk turned to each side’s families which forced Freire and McKee to stand up from their seats and nearly fought in the middle of the stage before security and Bellator headman Scott Coker separated the two.
A.J. and his father, former UFC fighter Antonio McKee, nearly threw punches at Freire and his manager before they were pushed away. McKee went as far as attempting to steal Freire’s belt from the table in front of him before it was knocked to the ground below.
The winner of the featherweight grand prix not only will win a belt but a $1,000,000 grand prize. It was by far the most anticipated Bellator main event in years and easily the biggest featherweight title fight in the promotion’s history.
The earlier respect between Freire and McKee has quickly turned around into a dark atmosphere, which will only add to the interest of MMA fans in the Saturday bout.
What is your prediction for Patricio Pitbull vs. A.J. McKee?