Newly crowned Bellator featherweight champ A.J. McKee may soon have the chance to claim the lightweight strap, too.
On Saturday, the 26-year-old took less than two minutes to demolish Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in the main card of Bellator 263, picking up a cool million dollar check for his efforts.
McKee stunned Freire with a head kick early before piling on the strikes to send “Pitbull” to the canvas. After stepping away to prematurely celebrate, McKee trapped Freire in a guillotine, ending the fight from there.
Scott Coker Hints At What’s Next For McKee
Many believe McKee’s victory was the dawn of a new era after Freire’s more than four-year reign atop Bellator’s featherweight division. Now undefeated in 18 fights since making his promotional debut in 2015, it seems McKee isn’t content with snatching just one of “Pitbull’s” belts.
Speaking at the Bellator 263 post-fight press conference, President Scott Coker said that A.J. has already floated the idea about fighting for “Pitbull’s” lightweight title.
“You know, that’s something that A.J. has talked to me about and his dad has talked to me about it. But we haven’t talked to Pitbull. I mean, listen, give (Pitbull) a little break. Let him see what he wants to do. But we’re gonna start making some calls, maybe in a week or so, and see what his feeling on that is. But there will be a time where he’s gonna have to defend (the lightweight title). I’ve heard rumblings that A.J., this might be his last fight at ‘45, that he’s having a hard time making weight. So he might have to go up to ’55 and fight up there,” said Coker.
As for McKee, he told the press that he’s all but done with the 145-pound division and has designs on snatching Freire’s lightweight belt next.
“Champ-champ,” said McKee when asked what’s next. “Technically, (the grand prix and featherweight titles) are one. So for me, it’s for me to make this become two. Yeah, that’s the next step. Being out here at 145 pounds isn’t the easiest. Maybe we get some superfights going. I’m pretty much done with the division at 145 lbs…so hop up to 155 pounds.”
Watch the full Bellator 263 post-fight press conference:
What do you think? Will A.J. McKee win Pitbull’s lightweight strap too?