Bellator 263: Patricio Pitbull vs. AJ McKee Jr First Look: Odds, Betting Picks and Predictions

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Bellator 263: Patricio Pitbull vs. AJ McKee Jr First Look: Odds, Betting Picks and Predictions
Bellator logo. (Photo by Ed Mulholland / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Bellator will host their marquee event of the month when current featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull defends his championship versus AJ McKee. Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at Pitbull vs. McKee as they headline Bellator 263 in Los Angeles, California; continue reading for the updated odds and our free expert betting predictions.

Patricio Pitbull vs. AJ McKee

Bellator Featherweight Main Event Championship Bout

Saturday, July 31, 2021 – 11:05 PM ET at The Forum

Patricio Pitbull (32-4-0)

Patricio Pitbull built a legacy whilst becoming one of the world’s most significant featherweight MMA competitors. He’s most known for his knockout power and ruthless aggression; it’s no surprise the current Bellator featherweight & lightweight champion is now heading to the Grand Prix final as the defending champion.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has broken countless Bellator records, obtained championships in two divisions, and rode a six-fight win streak. There is not much remaining for Pitbull to accomplish besides taking a giant paycheque and bragging rights of Bellator Grand Prix champion.

Pitbull’s opponent, AJ McKee, has been dominant in his own right – remaining undefeated in his professional career, but the Brazilian will be his toughest test to date.

Patricio Pitbull MMA Accomplishments

  • Bellator Lightweight Champion (One-time, current holder)
  • Bellator Featherweight Champion (Two times, current holder, seven successful defences)
  • Most wins in Bellator history (20)
  • Most wins in Bellator title fights (10)
  • Most finishes in Bellator history (13, tied with Michael Chandler)

Patricio Pitbull Best Available Odds: -110 with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Patricky Pitbull Freire (red gloves) kicks his opponent during Bellator 153. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP

AJ McKee Jr (17-0)

Outside of the current featherweight champion (Pitbull), AJ McKee has been the most dominant 135lb fighter to date. He began his professional MMA career in the Bellator cage and hasn’t dropped the ball since.

McKee’s passion for martial arts began on the wrestling mats in school, but subsequently dropping out of college prevented his chances at any significant recognition in this discipline. Under the tutelage of his father, Antonio McKee, the #1 ranked Bellator featherweight, has been training out of Body Shop Fitness with his dad’s guidance from an early age.

McKee hasn’t just sailed through the Bellator rankings; he’s finished all but four of his seventeen bouts; extreme aggression and pressure have left the opposition tapping out or knocked out with little room to create any offense.

AJ McKee MMA Accomplishments

  • Most consecutive wins in Bellator history (17)
  • Most submission wins in Bellator featherweight history (6)
  • Most stoppage victories in Bellator Featherweight history (12)

AJ McKee Best Available Odds: +102 with YouWager (visit our YouWager Review)

How Can McKee Win?

Four inches in height, eight inches in reach, the advantages are already laid out for McKee in size alone. His range management and use of striking techniques and flashy are precise; with that said, McKee will want to avoid the elite counter striking that Pitbull can utilize to finish his opponents. Much like Pitbull, McKee possesses raw power, heightening the chance of this fight ending via knockout.

McKee’s traditional wrestling offense is just as good, and he will be just as confident in this area. With that said, it's hard to envision Pitbull accepting a position and the Brazilian also throws up some guillotine attempts that could end the fight early on. McKee’s unorthodox grappling does pose a threat when scrambling, and this is how McKee owns so many submission finishes.

McKee should look to slow his pace down; his eagerness could cost him in a five-round fight, and notably, Pitbull has never been finished. He should utilize his athletic ability, make the most of that powerful straight left and use his size advantage.

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How Can Pitbull Win?

Pitbull enjoys counter striking, and he will often be found waiting for his opponents to throw their combinations before returning with dangerous counter hooks with a devastating amount of power.

Incredible durability, fight-ending strikes, and an excellent takedown defense is going to test AJ McKee. McKee has looked great, but he’s never fought somebody on the level of Pitbull.

I genuinely believe that Pitbull could be the aggressor in all areas, and his experience plus fight IQ alone could become the first roadblock in McKee’s career.

The Bellator Championship Belt. Araya Diaz/Getty Images for BET/AFP

Pitbull vs. McKee Betting Odds Advice

The top sportsbooks' current odds are close, and this is one of the only chances you’ll have to find a valuable price on Pitbull.

Pitbull owns an excellent takedown defense, and because he doesn’t overextend himself on the feet, the takedown offense for McKee will be removed.

I’m not too fond of the technical striking skills of McKee, and despite owning an excellent size advantage, it's hard to ignore the Brazilian who has defeated the who’s-who of both featherweight and lightweight divisions in Bellator.

Bellator 263 Betting Pick: Patricio Pitbull (-110) with BetOnline

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*The pick reflects the line now the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, do not forget to refer to our live odds.