McKee made history Saturday night as he dethroned Bellator’s long-time featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire via first-round standing guillotine choke to claim the title at Bellator 263. The event took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California, which gave spectacle to a near-perfect performance from McKee as the 26-year-old dispatched the former two-time featherweight champion.
In a recent interview with TSN, White has hinted at being open for the new Bellator featherweight champion to face some UFC fighters in the future. Whether this would be in a cross-over fight between the UFC and Bellator or McKee potentially joining the UFC roster to compete against other UFC featherweights remains to be seen.
When asked how McKee would fare against UFC fighters, White said he wasn’t sure but left the door open for the 26-year-old once his contract was done.
“I don’t know,” said White. “I don’t know. We’ll see. When his contract’s up, he’ll have to call, and we’ll see what we can do.”
There is a legendary story of a 10-year-old McKee meeting White, where apparently the young kid told the UFC president that one day White was going to remember him. White was asked if he remembered this encounter from long ago.
“No, but I heard about it,” said White. “That’s awesome. Listen, apparently I owe him lunch, so I will pay my dues and buy him lunch.”
Being in the prime of his career, having won the featherweight grand prix, and becoming champion (not to mention, $1million richer), McKee is certainly in a position to call his own shots after putting in the hard work to reach the top. The 26-year-old was homegrown by Bellator to be their next superstar, and it definitely feels like the organization has a potentially massive star in its hands.
How well do you think AJ McKee stacks up against the UFC featherweights?