After his 18th professional MMA fight, A.J. McKee is ready to stake his claim as the #1 fighter in Bellator history should he defeat Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
A.J. Mckee, 26, is a fast-rising Bellator-grown star. In his last fight, he demonstrated why his skills are so respected inside the cage at such a young age. At the Bellator 253 event, he shocked the world when he submitted the former Bellator bantamweight champion, Darrion Caldwell. Not to mention, McKee got the job done with an unorthodox modified neck crank. Afterward, many fans and pundits alike were perplexed as to what just took place as most have never witnessed such an odd submission.
Soon, McKee has the biggest fight of his life when he takes on Bellator’s double champion Patricio Freire, 33, this summer on July 31. If the pressure wasn’t boiling over as is, the fight’s winner will receive a $1 million grand prize for winning the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix Tournament. McKee appears to already be confident that if he is victorious, he is undeniably the number-one fighter under the Bellator banner.
“Definitely, hands down (I should be the best fighter in Bellator history),” McKee told MMA Junkie. “When you look at a diamond and it hasn’t been cut yet, it’s not the most pretty thing. I think people are finally warming up to me and I’m kind of chiseling that diamond and making it shine a little bit now.”
Additionally, the brash contender is ready to show the world what he is capable of when he takes out one of the best in the world. With an unbeaten record and a 22-fight win streak, all eyes will be on this million-dollar fight.
“He’s definitely hands down one of the best in Bellator, but I’m one of the best in the world – and that’s the difference. After beating him and doing it the way I’m going to do it, it’s going to show people what I’m capable of. I’ve always said it: I’m the best in the world, so let’s test myself with the other best in the world. So after Patricio ‘Pitbull,’ let’s unify these belts. Let’s put the belts together and test the best with the best – and I guarantee you that ‘0’ is not going to go.” A.J. McKee said.
This summer, the world of MMA will find out who truly stands atop the hill in the featherweight division. Will Patricio Freire continue to add to his already storied legacy, or will the rising upstart change the trajectory of the featherweight landscape and serve as the ultimate disruptor?