AJ McKee Suffered LCL Injury At Bellator 236, Featherweight World Grand Prix Status Uncertain


AJ McKee advances to the semi-final of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix when he scored a third round submission win over Derek Campos at Bellator 236.

A victorious McKee suffered an LCL injury early in the bout, which the fighter has already gotten surgery to repair, but that leaves his status for the grand prix in jeopardy.

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“The doctor actually told me not to get surgery,” McKee said to MMA Fighting. “He said if I plan on fighting, don’t get the surgery. The recovery time is four to eight months. The fight is exactly, let’s see, I got the surgery end of January, so February, March, April – it’s cutting it close, you know what I mean, to be fully recovered and whatnot. But for me, it’s like my dad said, ‘If you’re not 100 percent, you’re not gonna fight. Your record, where you’re at right now, it’s not worth risking for a million dollars,’ just because of the caliber that not only he feels, but I feel that I’m at and just continuing to get better.”

McKee is expected to face former Bellator MMA Bantamweight Champion Darrion Caldwell in the semi-finals of the grand prix, assuming that he is recovered by the time the fight is booked.

It didn’t take long for McKee to suffer the LCL injury when he fought Campos, as it happened early in the first round of their encounter.

“It happened in the first 30 seconds of the fight,” McKee said. “I threw the spinning heel kick, and when I threw that spinning heel kick, I fell. I fell on my ankle, I didn’t land on my feet, so from there it’s like taking the support out of a building. It tumbled and it went from my ankle to my knee, and then from my knee to my hip and my shoulder. So it was like a whip effect. Immediately, my entire leg just went numb. So I knew, the adrenaline’s kicking right now, everything’s a little skeptical, but I was hanging in there, you know? I’m like, ‘Alright, well it’s time to get him outta here.’ I knew the adrenaline was going to wear off. But f*ck, that dude Campos, he can take some damage, boy. That’s the hardest I’ve ever hit someone in my life. I was hitting him with some punches and looking at him like, ‘How did you just take that?’”

The featherweight world grand prix will continue next weekend at Bellator 241, with Patricio Pitbull facing Pedro Carvalho and Emmanuel Sanchez faces Daniel Weichel.

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