Bellator featherweight champion, Patrício "Pitbull" Freire and former champ, AJ McKee are both set to return to the cage this fall, just not against each other.
The Press-Telegram's Brian Martin was the first to report the news that the company would be returning to Southern California this year with Bellator 286 set to go down on October 1 at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, although the promotion themselves have yet to confirm anything regarding either the event or following fight bookings. The card is scheduled to be headlined by Freire defending his 145-pound crown against top contender Adam Borics. Freire is 8-1 in his last nine fights and is coming off of a redemptive unanimous decision victory over, AJ McKee, in their rematch back at Bellator 277. Borics, on the other hand, is currently on a four-fight winning streak and will look to build off of a unanimous decision win over, Mads Burnell, at Bellator 276.
In the night's expected co-feature, McKee will look to bounce back from losing the featherweight title to Freire in April and make his lightweight debut against former UFC veteran, Spike Carlyle. The 29-year-old San Diego, California native is riding a five-fight winning streak at the moment and defeated Dan Moret via a third-round submission victory in his promotional debut back at Bellator 272.
-- Spike Carlyle with one of the biggest comeback wins of 2021!— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) December 4, 2021
Tune in to the #Bellator272 prelims, brought to you by @MonsterEnergy & fueled by @sheetz LIVE NOW.
-- https://t.co/oGpJL8x2l6 pic.twitter.com/CjmnbBGLv8