Despite Stay-at-Home, AJ McKee targets Bellator world championship in 2020

Few fighters on any promotion’s roster have been as successful as AJ McKee has been in Bellator since making his debut for the company in 2015. In 16 bouts for Bellator, McKee has gone undefeated, managing to finish all but five of his fights.

With the launch of Bellator MMA: Recharged on the CBS Sports Network, McKee looks to be one of the feature fighters fans can experience an entire career’s path, from his debut in 2015 until his most recent win this past December.

“I like it, it gives (fans) opportunities to see where I’ve come from, and how I’ve been groomed and bred into being the fighter that I am,” McKee told “It gets to show people how technical I am. It gets to show them the character I am, and being for the fans and always wanting to put on a great show for them.”

When it comes to any career highlights, McKee feels he’s delivered every time out, but his win over Georgi Karakhanyan at Bellator 228 stands out as one – if not his most – particularly explosive performance.

“No fight is ever the same fight,” said McKee. “One fight can be a tough fight, then the next fight can be a quick fight. I’ve had a lot of fights. 11 finishes out of the 16. Just entertaining; I love to entertain the fans and give them what they want.

“I would say my eight-second knockout (of Karakhanyan) was pretty spectacular just because I said I was going to go out there and get Bellator’s fastest knockout. It was a surreal night having my father fight on the same card. It was the whole night altogether; just being there in that moment.”

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As he’s currently recovering from knee surgery, McKee has had limited training aside from the interruption of the coronavirus, so for the most part he’s placed a lot of focus on his love of cars.

“I kind of see myself as a race car,” McKee said. “You need to put premium product in to get premium results. I would say (fighting is like) building the race car and knowing the end game and achieving what your accomplishments are.

“Being unable to get in that car and go from zero to 160 miles per hour in 10 seconds is the adrenaline junkie in me that I drive for, so building my car from the ground-up is kind of like my career: fine tuning, taking one fight at a time, etching those off the list until I get to my first couple of achievements of what I would like to succeed in.”

When McKee is able to return to fighting, he’s looking to finish working his way through the Bellator featherweight grand prix, and in the process fulfilling the million-dollar check he wrote himself as a child.

“I want to get through the tournament by the end of this year for sure, if we have to close down the venues and just have the coaches and fighters,” said McKee.

“Fighting is what I love to do. I know it sucks being at home, so I look forward to getting back in there and giving them some entertainment. I want to get through this tournament, be a millionaire, and I want to be undefeated and a world champion – that’s my motivation for 2020.”