They are calling it ‘The McKee-otine’ and after Bellator 253’s main event AJ McKee can no longer be called a ‘prospect’.
A moment of physical, fight genius. A guillotine? A neck crack? A shoulder crank? They are calling it ‘The McKee-otine’. The only thing for sure after Bellator 253’s main event is that AJ McKee can no longer be called a ‘prospect’.
The young fighter from Los Angeles, a rapidly rising Bellator star booked his spot in the featherweight grand prix with a jaw-dropping performance which left many commentators and fans scratching their heads.
McKee, 25, was stepping up for the biggest challenge yet but made short work of former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell – who was forced to tap inside the guard of his opponent. Caldwell successfully shot for an early takedown and appeared in control of the contest before McKee slowly worked an opening with a few elbows before locking his right arm under the left armpit of his rival.
McKee went into his rivals backyard, in terms of of on the ground, and pulled this erudite physical finish from his bag of tricks. It appeared to be a guillotine attempt before McKee used a body triangle to secure a rarely seen submission and McKee dubbed it a ‘McKee-otine’ in his post-fight interview.
“Once I had the underhook, I was like ‘oh, I got it’. I had it deep. At first his game plan kind of threw me off. Once he got on top he went in side control, so he was looking for the elbows.
“That’s why I was trying to move with him a little bit, I wanted him to open up. Go into his normal position, head on the side is a bad position for someone who knows jui jitsu.
“So, for me, I just made him uncomfortable a bit. Couple of elbows, couple of punches – soften him up. He did what he normally does so I just found an opening.”
“I don’t know what would you call my last submission?,” McKee added. “We’ll just start calling them merks, because the Mercenary keeps merking people. “Mcguillotine? I like that, shout out to whoever came up with that.”
McKee is now 17-0 and one win away from claiming the $1million prize money, as well as the featherweight belt.
Patricio Pitbull tweeted about the quick finish, slamming Caldwell for getting submitted from top position, saying: “Guy that loves to get guillotined after controlling fights leaves his neck exposed after starting to gain control of the fight. Great fight IQ. And the other fool dared to say I chose the easiest bracket.”
McKee was quick to fire back at the reigning featherweight champion and declared he was ready to strip Pitbull of both his titles.
“It wasn’t a guillotine, stupid. It had nothing to do with his neck, it was a shoulder crank,” he said. “You’re suppose Brazilian and don’t know shit about jiu jitsu, apparently. I can’t wait to beat his ass, honestly bro’. This shit is long overdue. He takes it personal but it’s nothing personal. Like I said, he’s had a great career but the new era is here. 145lbs, 155lbs title, I want them back to back, period.”
He added: “That’s the beginning of the beginning. A childhood dream. I wrote myself a million dollar check, and I look forward to cashing it. Pitbull, even if you don’t make it, I’m coming for my 50-pound title. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”
McKee will face the winner of the semi-final between Pitbull and Emmanuel Sanchez.
Elsewhere on the card Joey Davis enhanced his reputation with a lop-sided points victory over Bobby Lee, while Benson Henderson suffered defeat to Jason Jackson following a short-notice move up to welterweight.
Bellator 253: Caldwell vs. McKee Main Card:
A.J. McKee (17-0) defeated Darrion Caldwell (15-4) via submission (neck crank) at 1:11 of round one
Jason Jackson (13-4) defeated Benson Henderson (28-10) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joey Davis (8-0) defeated Bobby Lee (12-5) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Raufeon Stots (15-1) defeated Keith Lee (7-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jeremy Kennedy (16-2, 1 NC) defeated Matt Bessette (24-10, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Jaleel Willis (14-2) defeated Mark Lemminger (11-3) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jay-Jay Wilson (7-0) defeated Sergio de Bari (5-2) via KO (punch) at :20 of round one
Kaheem Murray (4-3) defeated Baby Slice (3-3, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Sullivan Cauley (1-0) defeated Jason Markland (0-2) via TKO (punches) at :28 of round one