A.J. McKee is still as confident as ever ahead of a new chapter in his still-young career.
The formerly undefeated Bellator Featherweight champion looks to rebound off his first loss against Spike Carlyle in his next time out at Bellator 286 on Oct. 1, 2022, in Long Beach, California. Despite just being 27 years old, McKee (18-1) can make a strong argument at present to be the promotion’s best-ever homegrown talent, fighting all 19 of his bouts inside the Bellator cage.
However, “The Mercenary” created some buzz during his reign of terror, highlighting his potential interest in testing himself in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Today (Mon., Aug. 29, 2022), McKee clarified his past sentiments.
“I never said I wanted to go to the UFC,” McKee told The MMA Hour. “I said it’s inevitable for me to have the UFC title. Therefore meaning it’s inevitable wherever I go, if I go somewhere, I will be a champion. I’m comfortable where I’m at. I’ll still continue to say that I’m comfortable where I’m at. I still have unfinished business here [in Bellator]. So, we’ll just have to see how the cards play out.
“It’s like poker, man,” he concluded. “You never know what is on the table until they’re all sitting there.”
McKee’s upcoming clash with Carlyle doesn’t only act as a rebound attempt off his unanimous decision defeat to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in their rematch (watch highlights), but it will also be McKee’s debut in the Lightweight division. As Featherweight titlist, McKee expressed hopes of becoming a double champion, defeating both Pitbull brothers, if possible. Now, he gets the chance to at least work his way toward supremacy at 155 pounds.
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