‘It’s Time for Bellator to Show What My Value Is’- A.J. McKee Expecting Big Paychecks Following His Win Over Patricio Freire

Published 08/03/2021, 3:05 PM EDT


Newly crowned Bellator MMA featherweight champion, A.J. McKee has become the focal point for the promotion after his epic win over Patricio Freire. The former ended the reign of the latter via a first-round submission win in the headliner of Bellator 263.

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The win not only gave him undisputed gold but has also set him for greater things in the coming days. Although the fight was his last under the promotion’s banner, his win has ensured that he can trigger the champion’s clause and extend his deal for 3 fights.

His latest show could certainly fetch him a call from Dana White over a potential move to UFC, but ‘The Mercenary’ wants to hear what Bellator president Scott Coker has in store for him.

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“That’s what I’m looking forward to–sit down and talk,” McKee told MMA Junkie. “It’s a conversation to have. I think we’ll come to an agreement. There are things I want to do out there. Snickers, Undefeated, Porsche (as sponsors).

“There’re things we want to do out there. … It’s time for Bellator to show what my value is. It’s time to take care of me. I’ve showed them what I’m willing to do, and I think they’re more than happy and more than excited to continue to work with me and see what the future holds for us as a team and a unit,” he added.

McKee certainly knows he can’t stop himself now after winning $1 million. His next goal is to achieve beyond his current limit.

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“We’ve got to sit down and talk and talk some numbers,” Mckee said. “I made a million, so we’ve got to sit down and talk and see what’s next. That’s a millionaire mindset. That Floyd ‘Money’ thing.”

A.J. McKee is in no rush to land in UFC

McKee currently carries an undefeated record in his professional career. Although the star knows that his move to UFC is inevitable, he wants to focus on his current goals in Bellator.

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“Six months, six years–it doesn’t matter (on going to UFC), McKee said. “At the end of the day as long as I’m cashing in big checks, I’m OK. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. As long as I’m able to do things I want to do and create new openings, new opportunities with new companies.” 

He further added, “There’s really no rush. This is just the beginning. That’s the crazy part. This is the first world title and I haven’t even defended it yet. I’m looking to get that second-world title. That’s what I’ve been calling. Champ-champ.”

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Even though McKee eyes double championship, he still may have to defend his title against ‘Pitbull’ in a rematch. But the kind of purple patch he is carrying, he won’t back down from that fight either.

What did you make of McKee’s statements?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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