LOS ANGELES – On Saturday, Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (34-5 MMA, 22-5 BMMA) showcased why many MMA pundits and fans alike consider him to be the greatest fighter in Bellator history with a dominant five-round unanimous decision over Hungarian challenger Adam Borics (18-2 MMA, 9-2 BMMA). "Pitbull" remained atop the Bellator pound-for-pound rankings after the title defense, while Borics overtook the lightweight-bound A.J. McKee (19-1 MMA, 19-1 BMMA) for the No. 2 slot in the featherweight rankings.
McKee proved successful in his jump up to the lightweight division, putting on a fight for the ages against the ever-exciting Spike Carlyle (14-4) in an all-out war in the event's co-main event. With the win, McKee debuted at No. 8 in the lightweight rankings, forcing Peter Queally down to No. 9.
Elsewhere on the memorable Bellator 286 main card, Canadian featherweight Jeremy Kennedy (18-3 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) defeated Aaron Pico (10-4 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) due to a grisly shoulder injury. Kennedy becomes Canada's highest-ranked Bellator athlete with the victory, ascending to No. 5 in the talent-stacked featherweight division. The loss dropped Pico one spot to No. 4 in the division's upper echelon.
Additionally, one-time Bellator bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta (26-4 MMA, 8-3 BMMA) returned to the win column in his matchup with fellow former Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix competitor Enrique Barzola (18-7 MMA, 2-2 BMMA), outpointing the Peruvian in a high-octane scrap. Archuleta took sole possession of the division's No. 3 spot with the win, bumping Magomed Magomedov (19-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) to No. 4. Barzola retained his No. 9 ranking despite the loss.
Hawaii's Sumiko Inaba (5-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) continued her remarkable start to her professional MMA career, notching her fifth straight victory and maintaining her undefeated record with a unanimous decision victory over Belgium's Nadine Mandiau (2-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA). The victory saw Inaba vault to No. 8 in her rankings debut at flyweight.
Bellator MMA will return to action in Milan, Italy on Saturday, October 29 for "Bellator 287: Piccolotti vs. Barnaoui," a card reflective of Bellator's continued investment into European MMA. In the main event, Bellator lightweight mainstay and submission ace Adam Piccolotti (13-4 MMA, 9-4 BMMA) welcomes Tunisian-Frenchman Mansour Barnaoui (19-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and his 95 percent finishing rate to the Bellator cage. Birmingham, England's Fabian Edwards (10-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) will look to take one step closer to joining his brother, Leon, as an MMA world champion in a matchup with SBG Ireland's Charlie Ward (10-4 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) in the card's co-main event.
"Bellator 287: Piccolotti vs. Barnaoui" will air live in the U.S. on Showtime at 4 p.m. ET, while fans in the U.K. can tune into the main card on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.
The preliminary portion of the event can be seen via the Bellator MMA YouTube channel, Showtime Sports YouTube channel, Pluto TV (U.S.), BBC iPlayer (U.K.), Virgin Media Two & Virgin Media Sport (Ireland), with the first fight of the evening streaming at an updated start time of 12:30 p.m. ET. In addition, there will be three non-televised Italian Federation bouts beginning an hour earlier for fans in attendance at the Allianz Cloud Arena.
The latest Bellator MMA featherweight rankings are listed below. Check out the full updated rankings at Bellator.com.
Bellator MMA featherweight champion: Patricio "Pitbull" Freire
- Adam Borics +1
- A.J. McKee -1
- Pedro Carvalho +1
- Aaron Pico -1
- Jeremy Kennedy +2
- Mads Burnell -1
- Daniel Weichel -1
- Justin Gonzales
- Cody Law
- Lucas Brennan