Looking back on his unanimous decision win over Justin Lawrence at Bellator 197 in April, featherweight AJ McKee feels like he had a very solid performance.
In particular, McKee was pleased to have picked up a victory over a well-regarded veteran like Lawrence and add his name to the list of fighters he’s defeated over the course of his first three years fighting.
“I think it was a great fight,” McKee told MMAWeekly.com. “(Lawrence) was a top level contender, a UFC vet, a pretty high-ranked guy. For me the performance was good. I had a great camp. I was out there doing what I do.”
Since he turned pro in 2015, McKee has seen obvious growth in his physical abilities and skillset, but probably the thing he’s most been pleased with is how he’s mentally adapted to the life of a fulltime fighter.
“A lot of people don’t see what happens on the back side of a fighter’s life,” said McKee. “(There are) a lot of those issues can affect you in the cage.
“The last time that happened was when I fought Brian Moore last year. I only trained a week for that fight, and a lot of people don’t know that. My dad actually didn’t want me to fight, but for me, I’m going to fight. I sign on that dotted line and I’m going to fight.”
On Friday in Boise, Idaho, McKee (11-0) will look to keep his undefeated ways going when he takes on John Teixeira (21-3-2) in the 145-pound main event of Bellator 205.
“I’m looking forward to kicking his ass like I do everyone else and just keep going,” McKee said of Teixeira. “His pressure is not more than my pressure. If his pressure has him coming forward too much, he’s going to eat something coming in.
“I don’t worry about they’re going to do. If you worry about what they’re going to do, you’re going to set yourself up for failure. I’m going to make him worry about what I’m going to do. I’m going to go out there and do what I do best.”
Having worked his way steadily up the past couple of years in Bellator to now finding himself in the headlining spot, McKee sees there is only one logical step that can come next for him in the company.
“I need my title shot,” said McKee. “I’m tired of waiting. I’m 11-0, I’m on the longest winning streak, and I’m breaking records. I’m going to continue to break records. It’s my time to shine and I’m tired of waiting.
“I feel like everybody in the 145-pound division knows what’s up; as soon as that belt goes around my waist it’s not going anywhere. Now it’s my time to do what I do and get my belt.”