Bellator rising star A.J. McKee delivers first-round KO of John Teixeira

MMA


One of Bellator MMA’s top prospects, 23-year-old featherweight A.J. McKee, delivered a spectacular first-round knockout in the main event of Bellator 205 on Friday in Boise, Idaho.

McKee (12-0) knocked John Teixeira out cold at 1 minute, 9 seconds of the opening round at CenturyLink Arena. The finish came courtesy of a devastating left hook to Teixeira’s chin, which McKee delivered moments after falling off-balance on a spinning head-kick attempt.

McKee, the son of retired veteran Antonio McKee, extended his Bellator win streak to 12, the longest in company history. He continues to not only pass every test placed in front of him but also exceed expectations along the way.

“I’m amped up. I’m happy to be here and put on a show for the fans of Idaho,” McKee said. “Where is my belt? You see me. I look to look flossy. I need a nice belt around my waist.”

Teixeira (21-4-2) is now on a three-fight losing streak and was an underdog coming in, but has twice the experience of McKee.

McKee trains under his father in Los Angles, alongside other young talents on the Bellator roster in Aaron Pico and Joey Davis. He has finished eight of his 12 professional wins.

Friday’s left hook was a highlight-reel finish. Teixeira immediately crumpled from the shot. McKee bent forward to land another shot but restrained himself before referee Mike Beltran could even intervene. It is his second win of 2018.

Lovato Jr. stays perfect, submits Salter late

Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0) submitted John Salter (15-4) via rear-naked choke in the final minute of their middleweight bout.

Lovato, of Oklahoma City, passed Salter’s guard midway through the final round, moved to the back and quickly sunk in the rear-naked finish. It was an impressive finish to a relatively slow fight that Salter appeared to get the better of on the feet.

It is the sixth submission win of Lovato’s mixed martial arts career. After the bout, he commended Salter, who had won seven in a row prior to the loss.

‘Pitbull’ puts Huerta away in second round

Lightweight Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (20-8) knocked out Roger Huerta (24-11-1) with a right hand 43 seconds into the second round to record his fourth consecutive victory in the Bellator cage.

Freire hurt Huerta with a looping left hook early in the second round. Huerta’s legs went out and he tried to secure a takedown, but there was nothing behind it. Freire eventually backed him up to the fence and landed a clean right hand to the chin that put him down. It was the 13th knockout win of Freire’s career.

The older brother of Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire, Patricky has defeated the likes of Huerta, Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson in his current run. The 35-year-old Huerta fell to 0-2 since signing with Bellator this year.



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