FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week:
By Dan McConnell
With us certified and dedicated mixed marital arts fans, we think we have seen it all. From highlight reel knocks to slick submissions.
This past Friday night Bellator 253 was headlined by the promotions ongoing featherweight Grand Prix, with the undefeated AJ McKee taking on former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell for a place in the final.
Caldwell continued his quest to regain a world title when he met the man with the longest winning streak in the promotions history, the unbeaten AJ McKee.
Heading into this one McKee who is now 17-0, and a homegrown talent from he signed with the promotion in 2015, and looked to take the final step for the strap.
This is exactly what ‘The Mercenary’ did as he submitted the tough and talented Darrion Caldwell with an unbelievable neck crank in the first round.
The submission was locked in while McKee was off his back, in an usual but creative way. It isn’t something I have ever seen before and sent the whole MMA world in awe.
The 25-year old was coming into this one after beating Derek Campos via an armbar, in the quarter-final of the tournament in December 2019.
In his post-fight interview McKee said:
‘I’m the new era, I’m the new wave’ and I don’t think many would disagree after his potential submission of the year finish!
The Californian, who has accumulated 6 knockouts, 6 submissions and 5 decision wins over his short 5-year career hopes to finally reign supreme at the top of the 145-pound division.
He will now await the winner of the Emmanuel Sanchez vs Patricio Pitbull semi-final of the featherweight tournament.
Pitbull vs McKee for the Bellator 145 belt would be the best fight the promotion could put on in the Scott Coker era. Two tremendous fighters vying for the belt, who are must-see TV fighters.
The super-talented AJ McKee’s undefeated record stays intact, as he’s one fight away from gold and becoming the newest face of Bellator MMA.