A.J. McKee is widely considered as one of Bellator MMA’s most talented young fighters and on August 25, he’ll be looking to take his record to 9-0 when he takes on Blair Tugman at Bellator 182.
Speaking exclusively to MMAUNO.com ahead of the fight, McKee said he was looking forward to adding another knockout to his collection.
“I’m not really sure what to expect really,” McKee said regarding his opponent Tugman. “My Dad is my studier, he studies my opponent and then works on putting combinations together for me. For me, it’s train hard, put in all the work and get the finish. I don’t worry about what the other dude is going to do. If you’re worried about what he’s going to do you often don’t get the opportunity to impose your own skills you know.
“Just expect another highlight. Another first round finish. I’m a one trick-pony–I take them out. I sign that contract, I take the fight, I knock them out. That’s the name of the game.”
McKee’s name is never far away from another Bellator up and comer, James Gallagher. The two have been at loggerheads in the media for almost a year, but with Gallagher now looking like he’s going to make the move down to bantamweight, fans may have to wait to for the two to go toe-to-toe in the Bellator MMA cage.
Gallagher recently defeated Chinzo Machida at Bellator 181 in New York City via first round submission. The SBG man was widely praised for his performance, but McKee wasn’t impressed.
“It was another basic finish–cool you got another rear-naked choke,” McKee said. “He’s basic, he’s a basic fighter. I’m not basic–I entertain and I give the people what they want. What they want? They want submissions? OK yeah sometimes it’s cool. but what they really want is highlight reel knockouts, those spinning wheel kicks, those MVP knees, those head kick knockouts.
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_DStar) April 22, 2017
“They make the organization happy, the organization make you happy, and the people make the organization happy. It’s supply and demand all the way.”
The thought of the two of them ever squaring off isn’t out the question in McKee’s mind, bit he believes Gallagher’s move down to 135-pounds is only being done to avoid a fight with him.
“He’s running, he’s running scared,” McKee said. “He will probably wait until I get the belt [to come back up to featherweight], but then he will have to go through everyone else which he won’t be able to. We will see. That’s just a fight that I want because of the level of disrespect, but as a fight, it’s a waste of my time, but hey, whatever, it’s an easy paycheck. It’s about that money for me.”