A.J. McKee reveals X-factor to beat Patricio Freire in Bellator grand prix closing

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – A.J. McKee hoped issues would play out the way in which they did at Bellator 255.

An undefeated homegrown expertise, McKee (17-0 MMA, 17-0 BMMA) watched from cageside as Patricio Freire choked Emmanuel Sanchez unconscious within the Friday’s principal occasion. He was happy, however unsurprised.

“(Freire) went on the market and did his job, you understand?” McKee informed MMA Junkie on the Bellator 255 post-fight information convention. “(It’s) nothing I didn’t count on. He went again to his bread and butter. He rocked Sanchez slightly bit and noticed a chance as he stated. He obtained round that neck and that was it.”

With the win, Freire (32-4 MMA, 20-4 BMMA) advances to the Bellator featherweight grand prix closing in opposition to McKee at a date and site to be introduced. Regardless of Freire’s three spectacular match showings and a profession of domination, McKee isn’t involved.

“Now (that) he’s additionally within the finals and I can start to research and assess what I’m going to do within the battle,” McKee stated. “I’m lots longer. I’ve a 75-inch attain. There’s no means he ought to get anyplace close to me. If he goes on the market and fights the way in which he fought that battle, I promise you he received’t get close to me. He’s going to must create openings (and) attempt to get on the within. You’ve obtained to carry the battle to me. I do know you’ve obtained the belt, however on the finish of the day, I’ve obtained the attain. I’ve obtained the benefit.”

From the beginning of the grand prix in late 2019, McKee has rooted for this end result. A battle between Freire and him – two fighters who don’t like one another – will draw eyeballs and assist McKee’s star energy.

“”It’s a battle the followers have wished for the longest,” McKee stated. “On high of (that), he’s underrated, you understand? He’s an impressive champ, from beating (Michael) Chandler. His accolades, his credentials, his file is phenomenal, however on the finish of the day, nobody has a win over me.”

McKee can’t assist however tip his cap to all Freire has finished in Bellator over the previous decade. The respect doesn’t hinder his confidence, nevertheless. In line with McKee, it’s out with the outdated and in with the brand new once they battle for the 145-pound belt, the match belt and the $1 million prize.

“You may return to my very first interview,” McKee stated. “Patricio ‘Pitbull’ has been the person. Nothing in opposition to him. He has nice accolades. I’ve already stated I’m going to be a champ champ. … It’s the brand new period. He’s saying my time is over? My time has simply begun.”

Bellator 255 happened Friday at Mohegan Solar in Uncasville, Conn. The principle card aired on Showtime. The complete occasion additionally streamed on MMA Junkie.

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