Former Bellator champ hints at joining PFL tournament in surprising next move

A former Bellator champion hints at possibly competing in PFL regular season [PFL SmartCage pictured] [Image courtesy: PFL MMA - YouTube]
A former Bellator champion hints at possibly competing in PFL regular season [PFL SmartCage pictured] [Image courtesy: PFL MMA - YouTube]

The PFL regular-season tournament generates plenty of interest and a former Bellator champion recently hinted that he could be joining in what would be a surprise move.

AJ McKee has been one of Bellator's most successful homegrown stars after having won the featherweight championship and Grand Prix tournament, and could have PFL gold on his mind.

While speaking to The Game Plan, the 28-year-old shared his thoughts on possibly competing on the one-off Bellator events or PFL pay-per-views in the future, but explained that the regular season could be more enticing because of the prize money that is at stake. He said:

"Doing pay-per-view events doesn't really benefit me, obviously it benefits the organizations and so forth. I'm not getting points on pay-per-view, so for me there's no incentive really. So, the million dollar [PFL] tournament is always something that's [enticing]. ...
"For me, that's my hit list. ... That belt to me is more [prestigious] than the world title because it shows the history that went into conquering that belt." [10:30 - 11:41]

The PFL regular-season winners are awarded a $1 million grand prize as well as the world championship, so it will be interesting to see whether McKee decides to join following the landmark event in Saudi Arabia on Feb. 24.

Check out the full interview below:

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Former Bellator champion AJ McKee sheds light on added pressure during a tournament

Former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee opened up about his mental focus when competing in a tournament and whether there is any added pressure because of what is at stake.

During the aforementioned interview, McKee brought up that focusing on the prize money is much more helpful to him as opposed to other fighters who try to only focus on their opponent. He mentioned that his thought process helps fuel him, which has clearly worked as he won Bellator's featherweight Grand Prix in 2021. He said:

"I'm just like, 'I don't give a sh*t, we about to fight. We're gonna have a great time. I'm gonna have a great time, maybe you're not gonna have a great time,' and I've got my eye on the prize and that's what I'm working for is that million dollar cheque and that world title.
"Where other people, they wanna block out that million dollar cheque, they wanna block out the belt, so that they're focused on the job that's at hand." [12:18 - 12:44]
Tweet regarding McKee's Grand Prix win [Image courtesy: @ScottCoker - X]
Tweet regarding McKee's Grand Prix win [Image courtesy: @ScottCoker - X]

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman