Bellator 255 results highlights: Patricio Pitbull submits Emmanuel Sanchez, sets matchup with AJ McKee

Bellator MMA

In their first meeting at Bellator 209 in November 2018, Patricio Pitbull and Emmanuel Sanchez battled it out for five tough rounds before Pitbull scored a decision win. Rematching in the main event of Bellator 255 on Friday night, it was again Pitbull scoring the victory but this time it took the featherweight champion less than one round to score the victory, retaining his title and advancing to the finals of the Featherweight World Grand Prix tournament.

The fight started slowly, with Pitbull patiently waiting for openings and Sanchez trying to use his length to pick and choose spots to engage. Despite the slow open, Pitbull showed that it only takes one of his punches to change the course of a fight when a left hook rocked Sanchez.

Pitbull jumped on Sanchez after the punch landed, locking in a guillotine choke and pulling guard. Almost immediately, Pitbull began telling the referee that Sanchez was unconscious and moments later the referee caught on that the fight was stopped as Sanchez slumped to the canvas at the 3:35 mark of Round 1.

"He's a great fight, but I was looking for the right moment and I knew it was coming true," Pitbull said after his win. "I connected with my best punch. ... It's like a normal movement for me, it's like my veins, you know. I saw his neck and that's it."

Pitbull, who holds not only the featherweight title, but also the Bellator lightweight belt, now advances to the finals of the Grand Prix, where he will face rising star AJ McKee.

McKee and Pitbull came face-to-face after the fight, engaging in a lengthy session of trash talk while staring each other down. The clash between the two may be the most anticipated fight of the year in the Bellator cage.

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

Elsewhere on the card, Jason Jackson picked up a massive victory over Neiman Gracie in the co-main event. Jackson, who who suffered an eye scrape on the cage and an eye poke, took control of the fight with his standup striking and did well to keep Gracie at bay during grappling exchanges. He's likely closing in on a title shot against Douglas Lima if it's not the next fight for both men. Plus, Usman Nurmagomedov made a tremendous debut in outpointing Mike Hamel in a featured bout.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the evening for the latest updates, highlights and results from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with our live blog below. Stay tuned for updates all night long.

Bellator 255 card, results

  • Patricio Pitbull (c) def. Emmanuel Sanchez via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Jason Jackson def. Neiman Gracie via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Tyrell Fortune def. Jack May via first-round TKO (strikes)
  • Usman Nurmagomedov def. Mike Hamel via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Kana Watanabe def. Alejandra Lara via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Magomed Magomedov def. Cee Jay Hamilton via second-round submission (rear naked choke)
  • Mandel Nallo def. Ricardo Seixas via first-round knockout (punch)
  • Khalid Murtazaliev def. Fabio Aguiar via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Chris Gonzalez def. Roger Huerta via third-round submission (tap to strikes)
  • Jose Augusto def. Jonathan Wilson via first-round submission (head and arm choke)
  • Roman Faraldo def.Trevor Gudde via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Jordan Newman def. Branko Busick via second-round TKO (elbows)
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@BellatorMMA via Twitter
April 3, 2021, 3:21 AM

1: Pitbull drops Sanchez with a straight right as he was coming in. After a brief scramble, Pitbull jumps into guard and locked in the guillotine choke. Pitbull tells the ref he's tapping but the ref doesn't see it. Sanchez goes limp and that is it! Pitbull retains his title by first-round submission!

1: Pitbull lands strongly with a 1-2 combination on the chin. Sanchez takes it well and gets back out to distance. 

1: Sanchez tries a high kick that lands partially. He's trying to take Pitbull's legs away earlier with his pace and pressure.

1: Pitbull stalking and feeling this out. He's in no rush to get caught with a counter coming in. A nice punch to the body lands for Pitbull.

ROUND 1: Pitbull takes center of the cage with his presence, not much striking yet as Sanchez tries to keep him at distance.

It is time for the main event. Patricio Pitbull against Emmanuel Sanchez for the featherweight title. A huge moment awaits Sanchez if he successfully takes out the two-division champion. A date with AJ McKee is set for the winner later this year. Let's do it!

@BellatorMMA via Twitter
April 3, 2021, 3:09 AM

Jackson says he didn't get his vision back until the third round after scraping it on the cage and then the late eye poke.

Official result: Jason Jackson def. Neiman Gracie via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

@BellatorMMA via Twitter
April 3, 2021, 2:59 AM

The action resumed and Jackson landed a right hand before Gracie tried for a takedown. Jackson almost had the mount but Gracie regained full guard. Gracie held tight, keeping Jackson from getting any space. Gracie continued to hold tight and prevent Jackson for getting anything going offensively, but Gracie also hasn't done anything offensive this round. A genuinely odd fight to score. (Unofficial: 10-9 Jackson, 29-28 Jackson)

An eye poke by Gracie gets to the eye of Jackson that was not already injured from the cage and there's another break in the action for the doctor to check the eye.

Jason Jackson vs. Neiman Gracie -- Round 3: Jackson opened with a jab while Gracie landed a good leg kick. Jackson landed his own leg kick and then flurried with some combinations with the hands. Gracie looked a bit tired and Jackson kept popping off the harder strikes, landing a good right hand but Gracie threw a spinning back kick that nearly landed.

Gracie continued trying to advance position while Jackson threw short punches to the face while seated against the cage. Another odd round, but this time Jackson likely didn't have enough offense to offset Gracie's control on the ground, even if Gracie did nothing truly effective with his offense. (Unofficial: 10-9 Gracie, 19-19)

Jackson fought his way out of the bad position, getting separation and going right back to the jab while Gracie landed an overhand right. Gracie pushed forward and grabbed a body lock, driving the fight back to the cage before using a sweep to put the fight on the ground with Jackson sitting up against the cage.

Jason Jackson vs. Neiman Gracie -- Round 2: Jackson opens the round pawing with the jab and landing a heavy leg kick before a right hand. Gracie scored with a takedown, but Jackson stood up with Gracie still on him trying to take the back. 

Jackson scored with another takedown, again ending up in Gracie's guard and riding out the position to the end of the round. An odd round with the eye injury to Jackson and Gracie having dominant position for large portions, but Jackson landing the more effective offense with strikes. (Unofficial: 10-9 Jackson)

Jackson managed to muscle his way over, reversing and ending up on top inside the guard of Gracie. Jackson landed a right hand and an elbow before getting back to his feet and scoring another takedown, landing a right hand and standing back up again before landing a leg kick. 

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