Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bellator Champ McKee Explains Why He’s Unimpressed With Volkanovski

Bellator Featherweight Champion AJ McKee isn’t impressed with the abilities of his UFC counterpart Alexander Volkanovski.

This past weekend, Volkanovski, who’s ruled the UFC’s 145-pound weight class since late 2019, once again took center stage on pay-per-view. After previously defending the gold against Max Holloway, whom he won it from, and Brian Ortega, the 33-year-old had the chance to add the name of another established featherweight mainstay to his record at UFC 273.

In dominant fashion, he did just that. After putting a beating on “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung for 15 minutes, Volkanovski secured his third successful title defense via TKO early in the fourth frame.

But while Volkanovski’s latest triumph was enough to move him above Israel Adesanya to #2 in the UFC’s male pound-for-pound rankings, as well as better stake a claim for the 145-pound GOAT title, one fellow featherweight champ wasn’t impressed.

McKee On Volkanovski: “The Fight IQ’s Just A Little Different”

During a recent Bellator press conference, the promotion’s 145-pound king assessed how he and the rest of his division compares to the featherweight offerings globally.

After claiming that he and upcoming opponent Patricio Pitbull could defeat any 145lber in the world, McKee revealed that he wasn’t impressed with the latest title defense of the consensus best at featherweight, Volkanovski.

“I feel like I’d come out on top with any ’45er in the world… I watched the Volkanovski fight, I wasn’t too impressed,” said McKee. “Honestly, I feel (that) my self and Pitbull, we can hang with any ’45er in the world. That’s no discredit to any other ’45er in the world, but I strongly believe that Bellator has the best 145-pound division in the world. I got a million dollars to back it. I’m sure he’s (Patricio Pitbull) got his own money to back it, Scott’s got a nice check to back it.”

McKee went on to reiterate his desire for a cross-promotional event with the UFC, which could see him face off with Volkanovski. According to “Mercenary,” fight IQ is the area in which he and the Australian differ.

“I would love to do cross promotion. Yeah, the Volkanovski fight. The fight IQ’s just a little different. He’s real heavy on his back foot, and he keeps it sideways, which means he only has vertical movement when he strikes,” suggested McKee. “Therefore, his lateral movement when he strikes is obsolete. So, paying attention to little things like that, yeah, it’d be a fun fight.”

if McKee is to back up his ‘best in the world’ claim, he’ll next have to repeat a feat he accomplished last July. In the main event of Bellator 263, the unbeaten Californian challenged then-champ Pitbull in the final of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

With a memorable submission victory, McKee extended his unbeaten record to 18-0, had gold wrapped around his waist, and took home a $1 million check. His first defense is now set for Bellator 277 on April 15, where he’ll square off with Pitbull for the second time.

How do you think a fight between UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski and Bellator titleholder AJ McKee would play out?

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