The featherweight title was on the line in the main event of Bellator 286, and for a change, Patricio Pitbull wasn’t fighting A.J. McKee.
After back-to-back fights that saw the pair swap the belt back-and-forth, Pitbull took on Hungary’s Adam Borics on Saturday — fresh blood as a title challenger.
Borcis and Pitbull found themselves in a feeling out process early, a stark contrast from the co-main event (McKee vs. Spike Carlyle), which had started at a breakneck pace. Perhaps that was what had the fans voicing their disapproval, unhappy with the lack of action in the opening minute and a half.
A jump knee by Borics, however, was costly just past the 90 second mark. Pitbull managed to land a counter to the jaw as Borics was mid-flight, stunning the challenger. Pitbull went after the fallen Borics, but Borics made it back up.
It wasn’t later before they were on the mat again, however, Borics on his back. Pitbull couldn’t make too much happen from top position, however, with the pair making it back up in the final minute. Pitbull would finish the frame landing a solid right hand, while Borics was relegated to leg kicks and trying to avoid the champ’s power.
Borics fired his jab early in the second, while Pitbull fired a number of leg kicks. The champ connected with a 1-2, the ride hand landing with considerable emphasis. Borics fired a low kick; Pitbull answered with his own. Borics was soon leaking, a cut having opened up on the side of his forehead.
Pitbull, meanwhile, was walking the challenger down. Borics was soon stymied, unable to close the distance, waiting and watching the champ a little too often. Borics finally opted to fire a kick to the body, landing that with a thud. The Hungarian would fire an inside leg kick moments later, but the action had slowed towards the end of the second, and the crowd let the pair know it. In the final minute, Pitbull secured a takedown off a caught kick, planting Borics on his back and working from half-guard until the clock ran out.
Another jumping attack by Borics backfired in the third, with Pitbull instead landing a takedown, getting on top — and 90 seconds into the stanza, he passed guard to mount. The initial sequence was a thing of beauty, with Pitbull essentially catching Borics in mid air, turning, and landing the takedown in one smooth motion.
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Coming early in the round, that gave the champ lots of time to work from mount, while Borics tried to buck Pitbull off. Borics would survive the round, even making it back to his feet, but Pibtull was all over him in the grappling department.
Borics was no doubt down heading into the championship rounds. He needed to make something happen — and through the first several minutes of round four, simply couldn’t. Instead, near the midway mark, a Pitbull leg kick had Borics stumbling; the champ followed that up by catching Borics upstairs. Borics worked his jab, occasionally, and fired a leg kick. Little if anything was being put together by the challenger however. And when Borics did let a combination go, Pitbull was more often than not nowhere to be found.
They’d come together in the final seconds, Pitbull getting the better of a grappling exchange before heading to the fifth and final frame. That found Borics pressing forward, firing a combination. Pitbull backed up — a rare sight through the first twenty minutes — but fired a counter. It was Borics on the hot seat, however. He fired another combination— but yet another jump knee failed, with Borics going too high, and Pitbull throwing him over the top. Pitbull then took the back, getting both hooks in as Borics got to his feet.
The challenger now had to carry Pitbull’s weight, with seconds, precious seconds, ticking away. Borics backed Pitbull up to the fence, two minutes remaining in the fight. Pitbull slipped off the back, but still had a hook in, keeping Borics tied up along the fence. Borics reversed and landed a takedown, his first in the bout. The fifth was plainly his best round — but coming after four that Pitbull ran away with, it was a moral victory at best. Pitbull would escape regardless, try for a late submission attempt, and finish the fight on top.
Official Result: Patricio Pitbull def. Adam Borics by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45)