One of the most entertaining fighters in MMA, A.J. McKee has become a household name in Bellator. The former Bellator featherweight champion started his career with the promotion and, at 27, already holds the record for most consecutive victories (18) in Bellator history and the most submission wins (seven) in the featherweight division.
Whether in Bellator or anywhere else, McKee is a hot commodity ready to take over the industry.
McKee will be traveling to Japan to face RIZIN lightweight champion Roberto de Souza on December 31. It is a collaboration between Bellator and RIZN. The best way to stand out is to end the year on a high note, something McKee plans on doing.
“Since I was a kid watching K-1, GLORY, it was always a childhood dream to come here and fight,” said McKee. “Being here now, in this moment, it’s phenomenal. I’m looking forward to going out there, giving the fans what they’re looking forward to: a great show, action-packed. For me, just being here in this present moment is unbelievable and surreal. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a great show for you, and hopefully, you enjoy it.”
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Here is all you need to know about McKee, from his family history to what he has managed to do in his career so far.
A.J. McKee record and bio
McKee made his pro debut in 2015 for Bellator. He quickly moved up the ranks within the promotion, wowing fans with knockout shots and his superior wrestling skills.
In 2019, McKee competed in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. He beat Georgi Karakhanyan via knockout and Derek Campos via submission. During the Campos fight, McKee tore the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee. Despite that, he was not out of the Grand Prix.
The COVID-19 pandemic halted the tournament along with every other sport. Following a few months of inactivity on both sides, a now-healthy McKee returned in November 2020, beating former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell via submission.
In July 2021 at Bellator 263, McKee submitted Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in the finals to win the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix and the Bellator featherweight title. He also won $1 million. “Pitbull” exercised his rematch clause and beat McKee via unanimous decision at Bellator 277 in April 2022 to regain the belt.
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McKee then moved to the lightweight division, beating Spike Carlyle in October via unanimous decision.
A.J. McKee’s net worth
Per Media Referee, McKee has a net worth of about $2 million.
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Comparing him to other fighters, Patricio Freire has a net worth of about $1 million. Alexander Volkanovski has a net worth of over $2 million. Israel Adesanya has a net worth of about $4 million.
A.J. McKee’s social media influence
McKee is one of the most active fighters on social media. He has over 7.2K followers on Facebook, 125K followers on Instagram, and over 7,000+ followers on Twitter.
Who is A.J. McKee’s father?
McKee’s father is fighter Antonio McKee. Antonio made his pro debut in 1999. He has fought for promotions like King of the Cage, IFC, K-1, IFL, World Series of Fighting, the UFC, and Bellator.
With a 30-6-2 record, McKee’s last fight was in 2019, a win over William Sriyapai at Bellator 228. That card had significant meaning to Antonio, as he got to compete at the same event as A.J. They both won via knockout/TKO.