Antonio McKee is proving that it's never too late.
At 42 years old, he's preparing for the fight of his life against Japanese submission wizard Shinya Aoki at the upcoming end of the year blowout spectacular Dream 18 event in Tokyo which is being co-promoted with Glory.
The former MFC Lightweight champion and one-time UFC fighter has won three straight bouts since his release from the promotion including a unanimous decision victory over Chad Dietmeyer this past March.
Initially rumored to fight Aoki at the Dream 17 event in 2011, McKee was forced to back out with a training injury, but he's more than happy to take advantage of this opportunity at a second chance.
The smothering wrestler spoke to MMAmania.com during a guest appearance on The Verbal Submission about his upcoming fight with Aoki, why he won't be submitted and what he'll do against Aoki that most fighters aren't capable of accomplishing in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This fight against Shinya Aoki has been quite a while in the making. It was originally supposed to happen in 2011 back at Dream 17 so do you feel like this is an opportunity to take care of some unfinished business?
Antonio McKee: Hey, you hit the nail right on the head. Finally finishing off some unfinished business. Nothing personal. I think it's gonna be an easy fight despite what everybody else thinks. What's gonna be tough about it? He's not a knockout specialist. He doesn't hit people to knock 'em out. He's a submission guy and I haven't been submitted in over 12 or 13 years. I've only been submitted once in my whole fight career as an amateur all the way up to being a pro. I'm not really worried about the submission. I've got a great training partner that really simulates him well, Jason Manly, who is more athletic than Aoki. This is like the Brian Cobb fight. I don't see a way around that Aoki can beat me. He can't take me down. He's not stronger than me. He's not faster than me. He's a real paced fighter. He's explosive when he attacks but if you shut down the attack, then what?