2020 was a strange year for a lot of fighters, with event cancelations, fight pull outs, and short notice opponents. Some fighters were still able to prevail against all odds, and AJ McKee Jr. is one of those fighters.
With Bellator 253 being the only activity for McKee in 2020, the undefeated fighter still left his mark. McKee leaves no doubt, he is the “new wave”. And people should start to pay close attention.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 20, 2020
When Darrion Caldwell shoots in, and gets the takedown, his game plan is working. Caldwell feels comfortable wrestling, and he wants to take the fight to the mat and control his opponent. But McKee displayed he is dangerous from every position, at all times.
McKee’s neck crank came from an unusual position, and it snuck up on a talented wrestler and all around grappler. The fight lasted just over a minute, a dominant showing. The position allowed McKee to use his body to pressure Caldwell’s head towards his own chest. In the post fight interview, McKee talked about using the angles and leverage, and you can make anything work.
AJ McKee had a great 2019, and did not get as many chances to fight in 2020. The Featherweight World Grand Prix forced McKee to wait to fight, but when he had the opportunity to step into the cage, he did not disappoint. His dominant win, and creativity were on full display in this fight.
This is why AJ McKee Jr. had The Scrap’s 2020 Submission of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Flick vs. Cody Durden (UFC Vegas 17), Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto (RIZIN 26) and Monika Chochlikova vs. Jade Jorand (Bellator 247).