Bellator MMA president Scott Coker is ready to order more security for Bellator 263 tomorrow night (Sat., July 31, 2021) live on Showtime from Los Angeles, Calif., after seeing Patricio Freire and A.J. McKee nearly come to blows during Thursday’s pre-fight press conference (see it HERE).
Freire, who is set to defend his featherweight title against McKee in the main event, mixed it up with McKee at the press conference by promising to beat him up in front of his father. McKee, who is putting his undefeated 17-0 record on the line this weekend at Bellator 263, responded by saying he’d beat “Pitbull” up in front of his wife and kids. Freire didn’t take those comments lightly and exploded on McKee before leaving the presser.
After the incident, Coker discussed the near-brawl and what he might do leading into Saturday night to ensure a safe event for all fighters.
“My thing is, I just don’t want the fighters to get hurt,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “No one’s getting paid today, right? The fight happens on Saturday; everyone gets paid Saturday. Let’s save it, boys.
“When they started going at it, I was like, ‘OK, this could get bad really quick.’ I felt like I had to just keep them separated. We had security come in. And I think honestly we’re gonna have to get additional security on Saturday night. Just to be honest, I think we’re gonna have to order some more security.”
Given the fact that “Pitbull” is Bellator’s greatest fighter of all time and a guy who currently holds two titles this fight with McKee is going to be massive. Not to mention the fact that they’ll both be competing for a $1 million grand prize for the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix finale. With the stakes high and everything to lose, Coker understands why tensions were high during Thursday’s presser.
“It just goes back to this is a big fight, and the pressure is on, and I think the intensity is there,” Coker said. “You saw the passion. And I think you saw a lot of how they really feel about each other. … It’s gonna be a war on Saturday night. This is gonna lead to, I think, a more intense fight.”
Freire vs. McKee is undoubtedly one of the biggest fights of 2021 for Bellator. The fact that both featherweights don’t like one another only adds to the intensity that Saturday night will produce. We’ll have to wait and see how “Pitbull” and McKee handle themselves before, during, and after the fight, and whether or not extra security is needed.