Tonight, Bellator MMA returned with the continuation of their Featherweight Grand Prix. In the main event of the evening, AJ McKee (16-0) was looking to stay undefeated as he fought former bantamweight champion, Darrion Caldwell (15-3).
Caldwell was coming into tonight off back to back wins since moving up to featherweight. After Caldwell lost his bantamweight crown at Bellator 222, he decided he needed a little change of scenery so he decided to chase on million dollars in the Grand Prix.
McKee on the other hand is one of the hottest prospects in MMA. He’s not just the talk of Bellator, but the entire MMA community is buzzing about AJ McKee. The son of a former fighter, McKee was looking to punch his ticket to the Bellator Grand Prix finals tonight.
For the first time in his Bellator career, McKee would be taking on a fighter who on paper was a better wrestler. Caldwell was a national champion wrestler and we saw those wrestling skills right away in the main event.
Caldwell was able to land a takedown early on in the first round. However, McKee was extremely active from his back. Then out of no where, McKee locks up a neck crank from the bottom and Caldwell is forced to tap very early into the first round. Incredible performance by McKee.
What a statement! ?@ajmckee101 captures career win No. 1??7?? by submitting Darrion Caldwell.
— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) November 20, 2020
AJ McKee defeats Darrion Caldwell by Submission (Neck Crank) – Round 1
What’s next after Bellator 253?
If you were not impressed with AJ McKee before Bellator 253, you have to be now. The undefeated phenom continued his dominance but this time he did it over a former world champion.
McKee is the total package and he’s going to be a nightmare for anyone in Bellator. He’s got incredibly slick striking and he is insanely creative in all aspects. That submission tonight truly came out of no where.
After tonight, McKee advances to the finals of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. He will wait for the champion, Patricio Pitbull, to face Emmanuel Sanchez which is likely going to take place early next year.