Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix Finals/Bellator Featherweight Championship: Patricio Freire (c) (32-4) vs. AJ McKee (17-0)
Luke Irwin: You can’t deny progress. McKee’s time is now. He hasn’t been rushed, but carefully, carefully developed over his entire seventeen-fight career for this precise moment. He’s been honed and his size, speed, and youth might just be more than Pitbull’s raw tenacity and heart can overcome. Pitbull might get him back in the future, but it feels like a coronation. McKee via UD.
Featherweight Bout: Emmanuel Sanchez (20-5) vs. Mads Burnell (15-3)
Luke: Both of these men started their careers as grapplers, but Sanchez has come along a lot further than Burnell has. Burnell isn’t as raw, but he doesn’t have the toolbox that Sanchez possesses. Sanchez via UD.
Lightweight Bout: Manny Muro (12-6) vs. Usman Nurmagomedov (12-0)
Luke: You know how this is gonna go, I know how it’s gonna go, Usman knows how it’s gonna go, Manny Muro knows how it’s gonna go. Nurmagomedov via UD.
Lightweight Bout: Brent Primus (10-1) vs. Islam Mamedov (19-1-1)
Luke: Mike Chandler layed out the blueprint on Primus. If Primus can be taken down, and Mamedov can provide that in spades, it shouldn’t be too much of a contest. Mamedov via UD.
160lb Catchweight Bout: Chris Gonzalez (6-0) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (25-5)
Luke: Yamauchi is extremely dynamic as a submission fighter, but high-level wrestlers can stymie him and keep him grounded. We’ll see if Gonzalez is that, this is a HELL of a test for him this early in his career, but we shall see. I’m going to guess that he is. Gonzalez via SD.
2021 Picks Record: 76-42 (64.4%)