Date & Location: Friday, April 15 @ SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
Time: Prelims 7:00 p.m. ET, Main Card 10:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Showtime
Bellator is back in its hometown of San Jose, California on Friday, April 15 for Bellator 277. The event, which takes place at the SAP Center, features two title fights at the top of the card. In the main event, the undefeated AJ McKee defends his Bellator featherweight title against the man he defeated to win that belt, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
The co-main event sees the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament come to a close. In that contest, current and defending light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov puts his title on the line against Corey Anderson. In addition to the title, the Grand Prix winner takes home $1 million.
Bellator 277 Main Event odds
McKee vs. Freire prediction and pick
The first time AJ McKee faced Patricio Pitbull, Freire was a very slight favorite, but those odds did not hold. McKee, who has a four-inch height advantage and an eight-inch reach advantage, controlled the location and pace of that first meeting. His length kept the then-champion at bay and also allowed him to land a massive head kick that led to the choke that finished the fight in under two minutes.
McKee, who is 18-0 and has spent his entire MMA career under the Bellator banner, is a substantial favorite in this rematch and he deserves that respect. Freire, who went unbeaten in seven straight title fights between 2017 and 2021 (in two weight classes) is an extremely capable and talented fighter who has been at the top of his class in Bellator for years, but with his length of service, he has been a target for young up and comers like McKee.
McKee’s physical advantages, his well-rounded fight game and the knowledge that he has gained from watching Freire (32-5) throughout his career are simply too much for Freire to overcome.
Pick: AJ McKee to beat Patricio Pitbull
Bellator 277 Co-Main Event odds
Nemkov vs. Anderson prediction and pick
The co-main event of Bellator 277 is an interesting matchup. In that fight, Vadim Nemkov, who won the Bellator light heavyweight title in August 2020 with a TKO win over Ryan Bader, faces Corey Anderson, who is coming off a October 2021 TKO win over Bader.
Since he signed with Bellator in 2017, Nemkov has defeated some of the biggest names in the division, including Phil Davis on two occasions. He is 7-0 with the promotion and 15-2 overall. Anderson, a former highly-ranked UFC fighter, is 3-0 since he moved to Bellator in 2020. Anderson has a career record of 16-5.
Anderson is a capable fighter and he could pull off the upset in this fight, but to do so, he needs to dominate Nemkov over 25 minutes with his wrestling skills. That’s a tall order and one I don’t think Anderson can fill. Nemkov has more routes to victory in this fight, especially via his striking ability.
Pick: Vadim Nemkov to beat Corey Anderson
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