Former Bellator champion AJ McKee will remain with the promotion.
The ex-featherweight champion has signed a new multi-year, multi-fight contract with Bellator, according to a recent press release.
“Our top priority has always been to cultivate talent from the ground up, and with AJ [McKee] I can proudly say we have witnessed this young man blossom into a bonafide superstar in the Bellator cage,” said President Scott Coker. “It’s also our priority to retain top talent, and with AJ entering the prime of his career, it was important to make sure he continued representing the Bellator brand, much like he did recently in Japan, for the foreseeable future. I am looking forward to AJ’s next challenge, an appearance in our 2023 Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix, which showcases the best 155-pounders in the world.”
McKee, the son of former fighter Antonio McKee, owns a 20-1 record overall. He is the No. 3 ranked pound-for-pound athlete in Bellator.
Recently, he scored a win over Rizin champion Roberto de Souza in the main event of Bellator vs. Rizin on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
He holds Bellator records for most consecutive victories (18), submission wins at featherweight (seven), and stoppages at featherweight (13). He is tied for first in promotional record books for total finishes (13) and second for featherweight knockouts (6).
In 2019, ESPN named McKee MMA’s top fighter under 25 and he followed that up in 2020 with the consensus “Submission of the Year” for his first-round neck crank, better known to many as the “McKee-o-tine” of Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 253.