Undefeated Bellator contender AJ McKee (17-0) is already in the Bellator featherweight grand prix’s finals. He is in a very nice spot; however, he has to sit and wait. McKee does have an opponent in mind, though.
On April 2, 2021, at Bellator 255, featherweight champion Patrício “Pitbull” Freire defends his belt against Emmanuel Sanchez in a rematch. Freire won the pair’s first contest via unanimous decision in 2018.
While Sanchez and Pitbull fight for the second time, McKee has to watch from the sidelines. During the Bellator special announcement press conference earlier this week, play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo asked McKee who he wanted to face of the two fighters.
“Honestly, preference wise, I would prefer to face Sanchez and then go take the 155 belt from Patríco, but we’ll see,” McKee said. “Once they get it on, it will be a great fight, and I’m looking to put on a great show with either one of them.”
McKee was asked why he prefers Sanchez during a media interview following the press conference.
“I feel that just puts the icing on the cake in the 145-pound division alongside just to fuel the fire from previous altercations and just the badgering mouth that has been ran between him and I,” McKee said. “It’s time to put an end to that, so I wouldn’t mind whooping his ass and then moving up to 155 pounds and taking the belt from Patricio at 155. But regardless, I’m looking to eat the cake.”
While he wants to fight Sanchez, it’s not because he thinks it is the easiest path to the million-dollar prize that awaits the grand Prix winner.
“Styles make fights,” McKee said. “I wouldn’t say either opponent is easier. I feel their first fight was really close, so I’m honestly kind of excited to see how the second one plays out.”
While McKee has to wait, watch and stay ready, he doesn’t see it as an advantage that he got to the finals first.
“Everything happens for a reason. Inside of the cage, outside of the cage, everything happens for a reason and I think everything has lined up perfect to accommodate me and how my life is at the moment.
Another big talking point and one of McKee’s biggest goals is to be a champ-champ or a two-division champion – a feat that only a few fighters can put on their resume. If his plan comes to fruition, with Sanchez victorious in April, the possibility dramatically improves.
The final fight in the semifinals of the featherweight grand prix goes down April 2 at Bellator 255. AJ McKee awaits the winner.