A.J. “Mercenary” McKee is an undefeated mixed martial artist (16-0) currently competing in Bellator’s Featherweight Grand Prix Tournament. He was expected to face Darrion Caldwell in the semi-final on June 6 in Chicago, Illinois but the bout was postponed due to COVID-19.
McKee’s father is retired MMA veteran Antonio McKee, who was unbeaten for nearly eight years before entering the UFC. Antonio McKee now runs a gym in Lakewood, BodyShop Fitness, where his son trains alongside one of Bellator’s most hopeful prospects, Aaron Pico, unbeaten welterweight Joey Davis, and son of Kimbo Slice, Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson.
A.J. has the most consecutive victories, submission wins and stoppage victories in Bellator Featherweight division history, with 11 wins by stoppage (6 KO/TKO and 5 submissions) out of his 16 wins, A.J. McKee is, at just 25 years-old, a fantastic fighter and always massively satisfying to watch. Now without further ado, let’s tap into A.J. McKee’s Top 5 MMA Finishes (in descending order)!
5. Vs. James Barnes — Bellator 141 (Aug. 28, 2015)
Before this bout, both were undefeated with James holding a record of 4-0 with AJ going in for his second professional fight.
Barnes began aggressively with punches before attempting a leg attack. He scored the takedown but was then faced with a guillotine choke from A.J. who proceeded to slam him down.
The fight backed into stand-up again. McKee began a clinch phase then levelled some solid punches which dropped Barnes. A.J. Then quickly secured his win with some extra ground strikes.
4. Vs. Dominic Mazzotta — Bellator 178 (April 21, 2017)
This bout took place mainly in standing mode with McKee maintaining forward pressure on Mazzotta the whole time.
Only a few distance strikes were landed by both fighters with Dominic running away from the pressure constantly levied by A.J.
At 1 minute 14 seconds into the first round, McKee landed a head kick obliging the referee to call the contest.
3. Vs. John Macapá — Bellator 205 (Sept. 21, 2018)
A.J. McKee may have had his hopes pinned on getting a victory over a former champion, Pat Curran, at Bellator 205, but had to settle for a Knockout of the Year contender. Curran was forced to withdraw from the bout, and McKee accepted a fight with John Macapa instead.
The choice to stay on the card proved a good one as McKee dealt Macapa a serious left hand just 69 seconds into the first round. McKee even earned extra style points for not following up to land more shots on the unconscious fighter.
2. Vs. Cody Walker — Bellator 160 (Aug. 26, 2016)
After a 4-win streak in the Bellator cage, A.J. faced a more experienced fighter by the name of Cody Walker.
Taking on a professional MMA fight at short notice is no easy decision and doing so to face an undefeated fighter the calibre of A.J. McKee is all the more daunting. But that’s exactly the scenario Walker found himself in here.
“The Crow” had ended all of his seven professional victories via TKO or KO previous to this fight, including four that were done and dusted in the first round. Despite his solid experience and knockout wins, his opponent, McKee submitted Walker with a guillotine choke in the second round.
1. Vs. Georgi Karakhanyan — Bellator 228 (Sept. 28, 2019)
A.J. McKee made his debut in the Featherweight elite by taking part in Bellator’s Featherweight World Grand Prix opening round.
Against Georgi, it took him only 8 seconds to score a knockout victory after a 1-2 combo with a big rear overhand which dropped Karakhanyan followed up by a ground and pound phase to secure the win.
McKee tied for the second-fastest finish in Bellator MMA history. It was the first time where a father and son fought on the same card too.