Former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee has signed a new long-term contract with the organization, American League president Scott Coker has officially announced.
“Our top priority has always been nurturing talent from the ground up, and in the case of AJ McKee, I’m proud to say we’ve seen this young man grow into a true star in the Bellator cage,” the organization’s chief executive said in a statement. “In addition, our priority is to retain the best talent, and as AJ enters the prime of his career, it was important for us to make sure that he continues to represent the Bellator brand, as he did in Japan, for the foreseeable future. I look forward to AJ’s next challenge in our Lightweight Grand Prix, which will feature some of the best fighters in the lightweight division in the world.”
The 27-year-old A.J. McKee has won all of his 20 professional victories under the Bellator banner, most recently defeating reigning Rizin lightweight champion Roberto de Souza via unanimous decision at a joint event in Japan.
The American suffered his only defeat in a title rematch with Patricio Freire, to whom he lost by unanimous decision in April last year.
This year, McKee will compete in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix, one of the participants of which will be the reigning division champion Usman Nurmagomedov.