A.J. McKee advances to grand prix finals, submits Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 253

November 19, 2020

A.J. McKee kept his undefeated record intact on Thursday when he put away former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell in the Bellator 253 main event. The two met in a Bellator World Featherweight Grand Prix semi-final bout, and McKee only needed 71 seconds to punch his ticket to the tournament finals.

Caldwell, an NCAA champion wrestler, quickly took McKee down early in the fight. It would end up being a mistake. McKee wrapped up Caldwell’s neck, applied a body triangle and cranked.

“He popped his head off to the side and I locked up the body triangle and I hooked him up deep and that’s all she wrote,” McKee said following the fight.

With the win, McKee was the first to secure a spot in the grand prix finals. He’ll face the winner of champion Patricio Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez, who will face off at a later date.

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Bellator 253 Results

  • A.J. McKee def. Darrion Caldwell by submission (neck crank) at 1:11, R1
  • Jeremy Johnson def. Benson Henderson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27. 30-27)
  • Jeremy Kennedy def. Matt Bessette by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Jaleel Willis def. Mark Lemminger by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jay Jay Wilson def. Sergio DeBari by KO (punches) at 0:20, R1
  • Kaheem Murray def. Kevin Ferguson Jr. by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Sullivan Cauley def. Jason Markland by KO (punches) at 0:28, R1

Bellator 253 fight highlights: AJ McKee smokes Darrion Caldwell

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