Newly crowned Bellator featherweight champion A.J. McKee has become one of the brightest stars in all of MMA and now wants to be paid like one.
After dethroning reigning champion Patricio "Pitbull" Freire at Bellator 263 in the finals of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix via a dominant first-round submission victory due to a standing guillotine choke, the narrative became when McKee could find himself fighting the top of the UFC's 145-pound division. However, the new face of Bellator spoke with MMAJunkie's Mike Bohn after his victory over Freire and made it clear he's happy with the promotion but wants to be taken care of when they discuss a new contract.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to – sit down and talk,” McKee said. “It’s a conversation to have. I think we’ll come to an agreement. There’s things I want to do out there. Snickers, Undefeated, Porsche (as sponsors). There’s things we want to do out there. It’s time for Bellator to show what my value is. It’s time to take care of me. I’ve showed them what I’m willing to do, and I think they’re more than happy and more than excited to continue to work with me and see what the future holds for us as a team and a unit. We’ve got to sit down and talk some numbers. I made a million, so we’ve got to sit down and talk and see what’s next. That millionaire mindset. That Floyd ‘Money’ (Mayweather) thing.”
McKee also continued on to say as long as he's financially getting paid what he feels he's worth and getting new opportunities while under the Bellator banner, he sees no rush in trying to find his way to the Octagon.
“Six months, six years, it doesn’t matter (when I get to the UFC),” he said. “At the end of the day as long as I’m cashing in big checks, I’m OK. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. As long as I’m able to do things I want to do and create new openings, new opportunities with new companies. The second all that hard work pays off, that’s when I can say, ‘OK, what more is there for me to do?’ But at that point, the fruits of the labor are being enjoyed so much, what need is there to do that? There’s really no rush. This is just the beginning. That’s the crazy part. This is the first world title and I haven’t even defended it yet. I’m looking to get that second world title. That’s what I’ve been calling. Champ-champ.”