The featherweight championship title between A.J. McKee vs Patricio Freire has been targeted for a Bellator event in April, though it could also take place in May. The bout and its potential date were initially reported by Ariel Helwani. A venue and location have not been announced.
McKee completed his rise to the top of the 145-pound division this past July, defeating Freire via first-round submission in the Bellator 263 headliner in Los Angeles. The 26-year-old Team Bodyshop representative is 18-0 as a professional, with all of his triumphs coming under the Bellator banner. His ledger includes wins over the likes of Darrion Caldwell, Georgi Karakhanyan, Pat Curran, John Teixeira and Justin Lawrence.
Freire had a seven-bout winning streak snapped in his loss to McKee. That included a run through the featherweight grand prix that saw him best Juan Archuleta, Pedro Carvalho and Emmanuel Sanchez to reach the bracket’s finals. Freire was recently a two-division champion in the promotion, but he vacated the lightweight belt earlier this year in order to pursue a rematch with McKee. “Pitbull” has enjoyed two separate reigns as Bellator featherweight king during his promotional tenure.