Bellator 205: “McKee vs. Macapa” comes to CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, this Friday night (Sept. 21, 2018) featuring a Paramount Network-televised main event between undefeated Featherweight star “Mercenary” A.J. McKee (11-0) against long-time Bellator contender “Macapa” John Teixeira (21-3-2).
Macapa ran off a remarkable unbeaten streak from 2012-2016 until a split decision loss to Daniel Weichel cost him a rung on the ladder and let “Drake” vault ahead for a second crack at the champ. That was followed by a demoralizing loss to Pat Curran that capped off a frustrating 2017 campaign for Macapa. Ironically, McKee was set to face Curran this weekend, but an injury withdrawal has given Macapa the opportunity to step right back into the spotlight. It’s certainly not an easier fight for McKee given Macapa has four knockouts and 10 submissions among his 21 wins.
MMAmania.com recently chatted with McKee about his excitement to fight at Bellator 205 this weekend despite the change of opponent for the main event in Boise.
“It’s nothing new, these people pulling out, but it is what it is. I can’t focus on that and put my energy into that. I’ve got to be focused on what I’m going to do and what I need to do. I’m just prepared, I’m ready. I’m looking forward to going in there and doing what I do best.”
“I find the irony (to be) that Emmanuel Sanchez pulled out of a fight with me and then signs a contract two weeks later, and now he’s fighting for the title. I find irony in that!”
He’s not the only fighter to take issue with that bout as Darrion Caldwell thinks Patricio Pitbull is more cat than dog. McKee has a message for him, though: Stay in your lane!
“He needs to stay in his division! I’ll tell him like I told ‘Pitbull’ and everybody else — everybody who’s wolfing and talking about this (Featherweight) title, man. This is my division! I’ve got the longest win streak, I’m the one who’s breaking records, and I’m the one that’s undefeated.”
If it sounds like McKee is setting himself up as the uncrowned champion, he’s not done polishing up that crown or talking smack by a long shot.
“No matter what at the end of the day no one can take away my undefeated record from me and no one can diminish what I’ve done. Even if people pull out, I’m ready for that title. I’ll tell Caldwell the same way I told ‘Pitbull’ — I’ve got a leash and a kennel waiting for these dogs! If they want to go the pound, I’ll take ‘em, you know? But, I’m going to make sure I’ve got my belt around my waist before I do.”
The funny thing about undefeated records is they usually don’t last. Despite what happened to James Gallagher last month, McKee insists that he won’t be the next to fall.
“Nah, you can’t compare me to him because there’s a difference. I’m fighting real fighters. I’m fighting ex-UFC vets, I’m fighting actual people that are in there to do their job. He’s like an undecided kid, you know? He doesn’t know what he wants to do. He doesn’t know if he wants to be at (1)35 or 145. For me, I just try not to pay it any attention. At this point James Gallagher is irrelevant. I blocked him on Instagram.”
Perhaps there’s a kennel waiting for “Strabanimal” as well. In the meantime, McKee has got to keep his focus on “Macapa,” who is still dangerous despite his two-fight losing streak.
“I look forward to just going out there and putting on a great show for the fans, you know? He’s a great fighter, he’s fought some of the great fighters in the division, and once again it’s another test for me to just go out there and show what I’m capable of doing. I look forward to it.”
Although McKee is highly respected for his finishing ability (64 percent of all his fights end by knockout or submission) he’s gone to the judges in four of his last six fights, and McKee knows he can do better than that.
“Me being that warrior, that real true fighter, I’m going to push myself to my limits — and no one knows what my limit is. I still don’t even know what my limit is, and I’m not trying to find out what my limit is any more! So now I’m just doing what I need to do, and being capable and prepared.”
Even though it’s all about 26-fight veteran Macapa this weekend, McKee can’t quite let go of “Pitbull” yet — he’s still got a few bones left to pick.
“It should be me November 10th, but hey! ‘Pitbull’ I know he’s a dog, he can run, but he can’t hide you know? It’s just a matter of time — hopefully January. I want to come back to my home turf, and put on a great show for my fans and friends and family back here in California, and conquer that (Featherweight) title at the same time.”
While he couldn’t confirm a date for a Bellator event in California in 2019 (speculate amongst yourselves) he could confirm that he’s looking forward to CenturyLink Arena this Friday night.
“I think it’s a great venue! I looked it up and it looks like a really really big venue so I’m looking forward to going there and putting on a show for everyone out there in Idaho and at Boise.”
Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “McKee vs. Macapa” resides here at MMA Mania all week long.
To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.