Bellator 286: Spike Carlyle Says He’s the “Wild Card,” And a Bad Stylistic Match-Up for A.J. McKee

Long Beach, CA — As always, Spike Carlyle has something special planned for his walkout at Bellator 286 this Saturday.

“Can’t spill the beans, man. It’s gonna be fun though. It’s gonna be electrifying to say the least,” Carlyle told Cageside Press ahead of his co-main event lightweight scrap with A.J. McKee. Though he later offered a hint.

“We got a classic, classic coming up. We’ll drop a quick hint maybe. I’m a real American.”

Could a Hulk Hogan-themed walkout be imminent? Tune in Saturday to find out. And tune in to see Carlyle welcome McKee to the lightweight division, in McKee’s own back yard — though Carlyle himself is a native Californian.

“Definitely, born and raised in San Diego; I live in Orange County now. So I’m sure I’ll have quite a few people there. I know he’s from Long Beach, this is his home town obviously, so he’ll have the whole crowd behind him— but it’s going to be a quiet night after we’re done.”

Just six or so months removed from McKee losing the featherweight title back to Patricio Pitbull, who headlines this Saturday’s event, “The Alpha Ginger” doesn’t expect his opponent to look much different.

“No, to be honest, I think it’s going to be similar to his last fight,” Carlyle suggested. “His last fight was in April. Physically, he cannot really change his body too much, it’s only six months. So I don’t think he’s going to be very much different, to be honest.”

As for McKee’s unorthodox skill set, Spike Carlyle expects the shoe to be on the other foot.

“Unorthodox? I’m the wild card, I’m the wild man. I think he’s going to be the one having to kind of go with his eyes wide open,” Carlyle exlaimed. “It’s a terrible style match-up for him.”

For Carlyle, the fight is his return to Bellator, after moonlighting in RIZIN earlier this year. He remains under a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA.

“What’s so cool about Bellator is they give fighters the options and the freedoms. You just saw Michael ‘Venom’ Page fight bare-knuckle, which is super-cool. They allowed me to go and compete in RIZIN in Japan, which has been a life-long dream. So grateful for Bellator to allow us to do this, it’s amazing.”

Watch our full interview with Spike Carlyle above. Carlyle faces A.J. McKee in the co-main event of Bellator 286 this Saturday, October 1, 2022 in Long Beach, CA.