A.J. McKee was determined heading into his main-event fight at Bellator 205 to show the world that he is one of the top prospects in MMA. The 23-year-old featherweight did just that as he knocked out John Macapa at 1:09 of the first round Friday night in Boise, Idaho.
McKee wasted no time in this bout. He came out with a head kick that Macapa blocked. Macapa fired back with body kick of his own.
As the fighters scrambled to get the bout back to the feet, McKee was looking for blood. Macapa swung and missed badly with a left hand. McKee blasted a left hand and knocked the Brazilian out immediately, with Macapa’s head snapping back against the mat.
McKee is now undefeated in his 12-fight career, with eight of those wins coming by stoppage.
Rafael Lovato Jr. submits John Salter
Lovato defeated Salter by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:27 of the third round of their middleweight bout.
The two jiu-jitsu aces traded shots for the entire first round rather than coming out and trying to grapple. Lovato was more effective; he used a variety of kicks to the body and head along with his punches. Salter was more compact in his strikes but they didn’t have too much of an impact.
Lovato started the second round by connecting on a sharp right hand. He landed an elbow to drop Salter and snatched a guillotine choke. Salter kept his body against Lovato’s with his legs to get the fight back to the feet. He dropped down with another guillotine but let go quickly.
Lovato and Salter began the final round missing wildly with punches. Realizing that wasn’t effective, Salter pressed Lovato against the cage and tried working out of the clinch.
Lovato secured a takedown and immediately took Salter into full mount. Salter turned to his back and Lovato went for a rear-naked choke, but Salter reversed position. Lovato was having none of it and quickly transitioned to Salter’s back. The surging Lovato connected with a series of left and right hands to the side of the head. Those shots helped Lovato get his arms around Salter’s neck to secure the choke. Salter tried to bring in his chin but realized he couldn’t escape and had no choice but to tap out.
Lovato is now undefeated in nine fights, with six of the wins coming via submission.