AJ McKee advanced to the final four of the featherweight grand prix at Bellator 236 with an armbar against Derek Campos.
AJ McKee has been with Bellator for the entirety of his 15-fight undefeated career and is finally on the path to a title shot. After an eight-second knockout in the first round of the featherweight grand prix over Georgi Karakhanyan, McKee is two wins away from his first title fight.
Derek Campos first fought in Bellator in 2012 and has been consistently with them since 2013. Campos is 9-6 since 2013 and has yet to fight for the title. The Texas native snapped a three-fight losing streak in the first round of the featherweight grand prix with a win over Daniel Straus.
AJ McKee came out sprinting, throwing a flying knee and a combination. A spinning kick whiffed and McKee ended up on his back as Campos jumped on top. McKee threw some elbows from his back, then squirmed out and shot for a takedown of his own. McKee got Campos down and took his back. McKee couldn’t quite sink in the choke, but rode out the round on Campos’ back.
McKee knocked Campos down right away in the second round. He jumped on top and unloaded strikes, but Campos survived. He tried to spin out from the bottom and nearly ended up in a d’arce choke. Campos popped out and slugged it out with McKee, who fell off balance and stayed on his back. Campos took top position and began elbowing away with ground-and-pound. McKee attempted an armbar from his back, but still couldn’t get free of Campos, who ended the round on top.
McKee came out quickly in the third round again, but didn’t land cleanly. He then shot for a takedown and got Campos down. McKee was pushed off, but locked up an armbar, securing the head of Campos with his leg. Campos was forced to tap and we have our first finish of the main card.
AJ McKee def. Derek Campos by Submission (Armbar) in Round 3 (1:08)