A.J. McKee wants Usman Nurmagomedov next, calls Patricio Pitbull a ‘coward’ if he refuses trilogy fight


A.J. McKee is excited about the new year.

The former Bellator featherweight champion, who faces RIZIN lightweight king Roberto Satoshi in the main event of the Bellator-RIZIN card on Dec. 31, isn’t looking past his next opponent but he has a lot of ambition when it comes to his future in 2023.

With Bellator preparing to launch a lightweight grand prix with a $1 million prize on the line, McKee hopes that he’ll not only be part of the tournament but that he’ll draw reigning champion Usman Nurmagomedov in the opening round.

“Cashing that million. McKee stated that this is what McKee was all about. “We’ve seen what a young, hungry motivated A.J. McKee is and a million dollars is more than enough motivation for me. I’m looking forward to it.

“I think that’s the fight to make is Usman and I. We both have the wrestling, we both have the jiu-jitsu. I feel I have the advantage striking-wise. It would be great to see how our jiu jitsu and wrestling intersect. Everyone is looking forward to .”

that’s the entertainment factor in that fight.

McKee already claimed a $1 million prize when he won the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix in 2021 and nothing would make him happier than adding another seven figures to his bank account.

While McKee doesn’t have anything against Nurmagomedov, he does believe McKee is a Bellator champion who still has something to prove having taken the title from Patricky Pitbull.

“He is the man with the belt. He’s the target,” McKee said about Nurmagomedov. “I’ve always felt to be a champion, you have to beat a champion and Patricky was gifted that belt from his brother [Patricio Pitbull].

” For me, everyone’s fighting for an interim title. Until someone fights in this division’s real champion, it’s just interim for me

Speaking of the Pitbull brothers McKee made it very clear that the lightweight division was his new home, but he still wants to get down to 145 pound at least once more.

McKee has a record of a dominant first round win over Patricio Pittbull, but it is not a good sign that he was defeated by Patricio Pitbull. He also lost an unanimous decision in the rematch in April.

Ideally McKee would like to resolve that little bit before leaving featherweight but Pitbull doesn’t seem so keen to have a three-man fight against him.

” “For my legacy’s sake it has to be done,” McKee stated. “When I put it in along those lines, it’s something that has to be done. The ball is in his court. He’s talking about going down to 135-pound division. He’s trying to do anything and everything besides fight me. For me, I’m just going to continue to focus on what lies ahead and take it one day at a time, one fight at a time.

” If we fail to get this trilogy, it will cause me to lose a lot respect for him as well his career. I don’t give a s*** who he’s fought from [Michael] Chandler, all the great fights he’s had, all that s*** is irrelevant. You’re not a true warrior. You’re a coward at that point for me.”

First things first, McKee has to get through Satoshi this weekend as he looks to add a marquee win on his record against an established champion from RIZIN.

McKee will have another opportunity to shine at a major event. He is eager to tick off his bucket list by representing Japan in the same way that Antonio McKee represented 15 many years ago.

McKee also loves the opportunity to fight under the RIZIN rules set. This includes extra weapons such as knees or kicks to the head to a ground opponent, a strike that he has used but not in his mixed martial arts career.

“For me every street fight ends in soccer kicks,” McKee said. “So this is an opportunity to legally soccer kick someone in their face and get paid for it.

“It’s just a different barbaric style. It’s a different fight, a different pace. Different things to be cautious about. For me, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/29/23529493/a-j-mckee-wants-usman-nurmagomedov-next-calls-patricio-pitbull-a-coward-if-he-refuses-trilogy-fight?rand=96749