A.J. McKee


Takes yet another step forward
December 15, 2018
McKee defeated Daniel Crawford via submission (anaconda choke) at 3:19 of Round 1 at Bellator 212 on Friday in Honolulu.
McKee came into this fight as a huge favorite, and he took care of business. He scored a takedown early in the fight and went to work from the top position. Crawford tried to scramble, but he ended up stuck in an anaconda choke. McKee has looked spectacular against this level of competition recently. However, the path forward is somewhat confused. Bellator clearly seems to be grooming him for contendership, but he shares a team with prospect Aaron Pico who also seems to be a future contender. One of the fighters is likely to move up to lightweight, but the timetable is currently unknown.
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Decks John Macapa in the main event of Bellator 205 and improves to 12-0 as a professional
September 21, 2018
McKee defeated John Macapa via KO (punch) at 1:09 of Round 1 at Bellator 205 on Friday in Boise, Idaho.
McKee began his career with a series of quick finishes. Recently, he has had longer and closer fights. That trend ended in this fight. He came out looking to work at distance. Macapa rushed him and tried to close the distance. McKee threw a wild combination in close quarters. The first strike missed, but the second left hook caught Macapa and put him out cold. He could have kept throwing punches, but he stopped himself as Macapa was out. McKee had been set to face former champion Pat Curran at this event before he was forced out with an injury. Look for Bellator to give him another tough veteran for his next fight to see if they can get him into the title picture.
Controls distance with his striking against Justin Lawrence at Bellator 197
April 13, 2018
McKee defeated Justin Lawrence via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at Bellator 197 on Friday in St. Charles, Mo.
McKee entered this fighting riding a ten-fight winning streak. In his previous fight, McKee had to overcome some adversity before coming back to win via submission in the third. It is clear from watching McKee, that he wants to be a quick and accurate striker. While that has not always been the case in his Bellator fights, he showed that here against Lawrence. He continually landed with his lead jab and followed with combinations. He still ate a few counters, but his striking defense continued to improve fight to fight. This was an all-around impressive striking performance from McKee, who will likely face a top featherweight contender in his next fight.
Survives adversity and scores third-round submission in the main event of Bellator 187
November 10, 2017
McKee defeated Brian Moore via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:42 of Round 3 at Bellator 187 on Friday in Dublin, Ireland.
McKee had to deal with serious adversity for perhaps the first time in his career. Towards the end of the first round, landed some extremely damaging blows on McKee and stuffed a takedown. The blows appeared to deplete McKee's gas tank, and he spent the rest of the round and most of the second trying to avoid huge shots from Moore. In the third round, McKee came out recovered and dropped More with a combination. From there, he jumped on his opponent's back and finished the fight with a rear-naked choke. McKee improves to 10-0 as a professional with all his fights coming in the Bellator cage. It will be interesting to see who the promotion matches him with next. While he pulled out the victory, he certainly looked mortal against Moore.
Added to main event of Bellator 187
October 15, 2017
McKee will face Brian Moore in a featherweight contest at Bellator 187 on November 10 in Dublin, Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com report.s
McKee is a 22-year-old fighter that has started his professional career with nine straight wins. The featherweight is a known rival of top Bellator prospect James Gallagher and has been given the opportunity to take Gallagher's fight slot at Bellator 187. A knee injury forced Gallagher's withdrawal and the cancellation of his bout. Now McKee will attempt to continue his victory run against Brian Moore, one of Gallagher's SBG teammates, in the main event.
Picks up his ninth-straight win to start his career
August 25, 2017
McKee defeated Blair Tugman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) at Bellator 182 on Friday in Verona, N.Y.
In the first round, McKee was able to control distance with his footwork. He stayed on the outside and dictated the pace and position of the fight with lateral movement. McKee landed with hooks and kicks from the outside. Late in the round, he swarmed on Tugman after an apparent eye poke and did solid work from the top position. This trend continued in the second and third rounds. Tugman did a good job defending, but he had virtually no offense, and McKee still scored. The "Mercenary" improved to 9-0 as a professional and with Bellator. He began his run in the promotion with five-straight stoppages. However, since moving up in competition, he has scored three decisions in four fights. With that being, he continued to pass every test in front of him.