All-in-all, Bellator 253 was a fantastic night for one of the promotion’s hottest prospects, AJ McKee. He not only extended his phenomenal undefeated record to 17-0 and moved into the final of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix at the event, but he also scored a beautiful submission finish against a difficult opponent. McKee took on the ex-Bellator Bantamweight World Champion, Darrion Caldwell, and made short work of him when he locked up a sickening neck crank in just a little over a minute.
McKee is a phenomenally well-rounded fighter, with this being his sixth submission victory out of twelve finishes. He’s spent his entire professional MMA career fighting in the Bellator cage after being trained by his father and fellow Bellator competitor, Antonio McKee. After his first fight in 2015, he spent a few years quietly racking up wins in the Bellator Featherweight division before taking on his first big challenge in Pat Curran last year.
After an incredibly convincing Unanimous Decision victory over Curran, AJ McKee entered the Featherweight Grand Prix, knocking out Georgi Karakhanyan and submitting Derek Campos on his way to the Semi-Finals at Bellator 253. With his submission finish of Caldwell, McKee now owns three amazing records; the most consecutive wins in Bellator promotional history, the most submission wins in Bellator Featherweight history, and the most stoppage victories in Bellator Featherweight history.
The win at Bellator 253 came when McKee attempted a Guillotine from full guard, before threading his arm through to the far armpit similar to a 100% half-guard sweep. He then locked up a rear-naked choke grip over the arm and cranked hard to get the tap. This isn’t the first time that Bellator has given us an incredibly unique submission victory either, after Bellator 247 saw a win by Scorpion Crunch. The finish can be seen below, courtesy of the official Monster Energy Twitter account:
— Monster Energy (@MonsterEnergy) November 20, 2020