What’s next for AJ McKee after Bellator 286 win?

AJ McKee

This past Saturday night at Bellator 286, we saw a wild fight in the co-main event. Former featherweight champion AJ McKee (19-1) made his lightweight debut when he took on the surging Spike Carlyle (14-4).

Carlyle entered the fight on a five-fight winning streak and was out to make it a tough debut for McKee. He definitely made the fight tough on the former champion and he made it tough from the opening seconds.

In the opening seconds of the fight, Carlyle literally sprinted at McKee. The two men started throwing haymakers and things were incredibly wild. McKee ended up dropping Carlyle which triggered grappling exchanges and a lot of scrambling.

Carlyle ended up getting top position for a good portion of the first round. However, he completely gassed himself out. While he still had moments here and there, the final two rounds were all AJ McKee. In the end, the former champion went on to win a unanimous decision.

What’s next after Bellator 286?

After this latest victory, McKee is back on track following his loss to Patricio Pitbull. McKee admitted that he went into a dark place after he lost the Bellator featherweight title. However, he looked rejuvenated on Saturday and now he’s back in the win column.

That being said, what’s next for McKee? Well, there are a few options out there currently. One option that I would like to see is the trilogy with him and Patricio Pitbull for the featherweight title. Pitbull said before Bellator 286 that he wanted to fight Aaron Pico and then move down to 135.

Well, with Pico’s injury loss, that leaves the door open for McKee to drop back down for the third fight. This is the one I think Bellator should pursue the most. If that doesn’t work out, I think McKee will wait until the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix which will take place next year.

Scott Coker announced it last week and I think McKee has a spot in that if he wants it. The last option I see is one that’s the least likely to happen. McKee has talked a lot about Nate Diaz and currently Diaz is a free agent. If Bellator wants to blow the roof off an arena, maybe they could convince Diaz to sign with them and fight McKee. I don’t see it, but it’s an option.