Watch MMA star AJ McKee tell ref his rival Patricio Pitbull is asleep during choke as he wins $1m prize at Bellator 263
AJ MCKEE had to tell the referee his rival Patricio Pitbull was unconscious on his way to winning the Bellator featherweight title.
The first-round submission victory at Bellator 263 netted him a cool $1million – but it only came after huge drama.
The Mercenary locked horns with the former dual-weight champion early this morning in the main event of Bellator 263, which brought the promotion’s 145lb tournament to a close.
And the Californian completed his journey from prospect to bonafide star in just under two minutes as he choked Pitbull unconscious with a standing guillotine moments after rocking him with a picture-perfect head kick.
Referee Mike Beltran, however, didn’t initially see that Pitbull was unconscious, prompting McKee to say: “He’s out.”
Beltran immediately waved off the contest after seeing Pitbull’s arm had gone limp, much to the frustration of the 34-year-old.
McKee, 18-0, was over the moon with his display but couldn’t help lament his premature celebration.
He said: “I said I was going to do it in a stylish fashion and it was done in one.
“When I rocked him, I thought, ‘That’s it’. After the head kick, I hit him with that uppercut and I saw him quit, he didn’t need any more.
“But like the ref says, ‘Don’t stop punching until I tell you to.'”
I said I was going to do it in a stylish fashion and it was done in one.
In the post-fight press conference, he added: “Honestly, I dreamt the fight.
“I knew I won the fight. I prayed about it and the same night I had a vision.
“So I knew I had a victory but it wasn’t the dream that I had which was peculiar. Now, maybe that’s the 155-pound title that I saw.
“I don’t know. I’m just enjoying this moment, man. I knew it was going to come.”
McKee’s ascension to the top of Bellator‘s featherweight division was nothing short of stunning.
The 26-year-old is open to taking on all comers next and was quick to issue a challenge to his counterparts in the UFC, ONE Championship and the PFL.
He said: “Being at 145 pounds isn’t the easiest.
“Maybe we get some super-fights going but I’m pretty much done with the division at 145 pounds, so hop up to 155 pounds.
“He’s the best 145-pounder – was the best. I’ve pretty much been saying it. Now people are seeing it and believing it.
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“I am the best 145-pounder in the world whether it’s UFC, ONE FC, PFL, I don’t care who it is.
“I’ve got $1 million cash in my bank and I’d put it up against anybody else. I’m sure Showtime and Bellator, they’ll match it.
“Let’s do some super-fights. Let’s get some big stuff going. Let’s change this sport, like I’ve been saying. Let’s do it. Let’s unify these belts.”
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