Team Bodyshop ready for belts and recognition in 2019

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(Photos by Dave Mandel & Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports)

Antonio McKee has Team Bodyshop ready to impress in 2019. They get their first opportunity at Bellator 214 when Aaron Pico fights Henry Corrales.

Antonio McKee has been fighting professionally in Mixed Martial Arts since 1999. His last fight being a split decision victory over Gadzhi Zaipulaev in November of 2014. McKee still holds out hope of fighting on the same card as his son before he retires, but now he is fighting for something else. Recognition for himself as a coach and his stable of Bellator fighters at Team Bodyshop.

McKee and Team Bodyshop have been putting in the work for a long time. Even with the current roster they have on their team, there is some confusion on why they don’t get the attention McKee feels they deserve.

“…Maybe I didn’t get what I deserved as a fighter. I definitely don’t get it as a coach because we are going to be a forced to be reckoned with out here…”

“…We have been killing the game since day one. I really don’t understand why minorities don’t get the respect they deserve in this game as coaches. There’s a lot of coaches. I just don’t understand, we really don’t get recognized for our coaching. It kinda sucks. People are more favoring the AKA’s or American Top Team’s. What about those smaller gyms that are putting out talent? For me it’s more of like I just wanna get even. I’m going to get even and keep kicking ass and make them respect the body shop.”

Future Stars

McKee continues on and admits maybe he is just being petty and winning is all that matters, but there is merit in his claims. Team Bodyshop arguably has the two biggest prospects in MMA today in Aaron Pico and A.J. McKee. Pico is lined up to fight veteran Henry Corrales next week. As for his son A.J., Antonio thinks it’s time to fight for the title.

“…I think at this point we’re ready for a title shot. We’re 13-0. We were going to fight Daniel. We were going to fight Henry Corrales. Those guys got sick. Caught injuries. Didn’t accept the fight at the time, and we know why they didn’t accept the fight at the time. They weren’t ready. We’ve never turned down a fight. We’ve done nothing but what the organization asked us to do. Now were asking the organization to give us a title shot, because he’s ready. I think he’s going to be one of the greatest fighters in the history of martial arts…”

McKee went on to explain that next week will tell a lot about Aaron Pico and where he is in his career. Explaining that he works his ass off and hits harder than anyone he’s ever seen. Strong words from someone with his experience.

Training A Legend

One of the biggest surprises in 2018 was Chuck Liddell training with McKee and at Team Bodyshop for his third fight with Tito Ortiz. McKee said he had concerns early, but Liddell looked good as camp went on. He just wishes that Liddell’s old camp would have made concerns known before the fight.

“…The way he was training was phenomenal. If people really payed attention to it. As far as Hackleman going and saying what he had to say. Hackleman should have been there. He should have called me with concerns about Chuck’s chin…”

McKee is grateful for the opportunity to train a legend like Chuck Liddell, but admits that he wouldn’t do it again. He believes the former light heavyweight champion is done.

Check out the complete interview below where you can hear McKee talk about the rest of the fighters at Team Body Shop, his thoughts on the Jon Jones situation, and what it would mean to him to fight on the same card as his son.

Stick with MMANews.com for the latest on Antonio McKee and his complete stable of up and coming fighters.