Spike Carlyle believes AJ McKee is an ‘extremely favorable match-up’ for him heading into Bellator 286

October 1, 2022

Coming into 2022 on a four-fight winning streak, lightweight Spike Carlyle was able to keep his momentum going when he faced off against Koji Takeda at RIZIN 35 this past April.

By submitting Takeda just over a minute into the second round of their bout, Carlyle built his winning streak to five in a row, and made for a career-highlight experience at the same time.

“Just having the whole experience of traveling to Japan and experience the culture and fight for RIZIN, and also to have a spectacular finish like that was a dream come true,” Carlyle told MMAWeekly.com.

When asked about his winning streak, Carlyle is quick to point out a couple specific things he’s done of late to get his career back on track following two straight losses in 2020.

“My last five fights have all been at 155 pounds and higher, so I think that fighting at a higher weight class has been tremendously helpful,” said Carlyle. “Secondly, I making some personal errors and God had to humble me when I was in the UFC. I made some mistakes and God humbled me.

“I’m living the way I should be right now, and being at a weight class that’s best for my body are the two main factors (to my recent success).”

Carlyle (14-3) will look to keep his winning streak going when he faces AJ McKee Jr. (16-1) in the 155-pound co-main event of Bellator 286.

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“I think stylistically this is an extremely favorable match-up for me,” Carlyle said. “I feel superior no matter where the fight is, no matter where the fight goes. I’ll be very dominant everywhere.”

While Carlyle is good at setting aside everything not directly involved with the fight itself once he’s inside the cage, he does admit there’s a lot riding on his October 1 bout and knows it could be career-changing for him.

“Once the cage door closes at the end of the day it’s just another fight,” said Carlyle. “It’s no different. Yes I do see the implications and the magnitude of this fight, but instead of getting nervous about it, it’s added some extra pep to my step. It’s given me extra motivation and desire.

“This is the biggest fight of my life, the biggest opportunity of my life, and I’m doing everything in my power to make sure I have the results I desire.”