Bellator 301 Presents Long Journey Back For A.J. McKee

A.J. McKee

Bellator 301 this Friday night provides A.J. McKee with the opportunity to showcase his skills once more. The former featherweight champion takes on Sidney Outlaw in his first fight in almost a year.

For A.J. McKee, just getting back inside the Bellator cage is a reason to be excited.

The former featherweight champion meets Sidney Outlaw Friday night at Bellator 301 live on Showtime in a main card attraction.

It has been just a month short of a year since we last saw McKee compete, scoring a decision victory at the Rizin New Year’s Eve show over Roberto de Souza. That marked his second win since losing the title to Patricio Pitbull, and his second appearance at lightweight.

“It is just an honor to be back in the cage,” McKee said. “It has almost been a year so being consistent has been key. Hopefully, I can get back into the tournament myself.

“Nothing has changed on my end though; I am still the Mercenary and I still take people out.”

The move to a new division has treated the veteran well, as he looks to improve to 21-1 this week.

A.J. McKee is a former winner of the grand prix, claiming that title in 2021 with a technical submission of Pitbull that also saw him claim the belt. He has also bested the likes of Derek Campos, Darrion Caldwell and Pat Curran during his career.

A.J. McKee: ‘I Say Hungry’

“I just stay hungry; it’s almost been a year layoff but I have stayed grinding,” he said. Being at 155 pounds, I plan to make a statement to the rest of the division. My plan is to become world champion again. I deserve a belt with my name on it.”

Outlaw is coming off a decision win over Islam Mamedov that saw his record improve to 17-5 overall with four wins coming under the Bellator banner.

“This will be business as usual. I don’t really get nervous,” McKee said. “The walk to the cage makes me a little nervous but once I get in that cage all butterflies are gone and I am focused on the task at hand.”

Bellator 301 Features Two Title Fights

Along with A.J. McKee vs. Sidney Outlaw, pair of title fights are also planned for Bellator 301, as Yaroslav Amosov meets Jason Jackson for his welterweight title while Sergio Pettis and Patchy Mix collide to unify the bantamweight belts.

Patricky Pitbull and Alexandr Shabliy square off in the semifinals of the ongoing lightweight world grand prix with Raufeon Stotts vs. Danny Sabatello rounding out the main card.