Bellator 187 Recap
The young up-and-coming fighter A.J. McKee now has Bellator history under his belt, as he scored a win over Brian Moore in the main event of Bellator 187, which took place from 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, to remain undefeated.
McKee now owns sole possession of the record for most consecutive wins in Bellator history with 10, surpassing Ben Askren and Michael Chandler, who each have nine. But this may have been the biggest test in the young career of McKee, whose ten fights have all come in the Bellator cage.
McKee seemed dominant early on, dropping the native Irishman, Moore, with a right hand 27 seconds into the fight. He immediately went for a guillotine choke, but failed to get it in. Moore tried to get on the inside of McKee, but McKee landed a nice left on the chin that forced Moore into retreat. Moore clinched McKee against the fence, only for McKee to try for a guillotine again, but Moore managed to escape. Late in the round, Moore landed a left that seemingly rocked McKee. McKee shot for a takedown but struggled to get Moore off of his feet. Moore, meanwhile, landed elbows to the head that cut McKee open before the bell sounded to end the first.
McKee appeared somewhat fatigued as the second round got underway, as Moore applied pressure and forced McKee to continuously backpedal. Moore attempted two takedowns in the first half of the round and was stuffed both times. Moore made McKee eat several combos throughout the round, and this bout definitely look even as the third round began.
But McKee showed resiliency, as about 10 seconds into the final round he landed a combination that dropped Moore. Moore eventually gave up his back, and McKee locked in a rear-naked choke, forcing Moore to go to sleep for a technical submission victory.
“Round three, I know I’m here in Dublin, I ain’t letting it go to the scorecard, you know how that [expletive] goes,” McKee said following the fight. “Thank you Dublin, thank you everybody for coming out.”
When asked on his thoughts about next week’s featherweight title fight between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and challenger Daniel Weichel, McKee made it clear he doesn’t care who wins.
“I’m coming to get it!” he teased.
But McKee’s performance may not have been the biggest talking point of the night. The show may have been stolen by a certain popular Irishman — UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor, who was at the event supporting some of his teammates competing on the card.
After Charlie Ward’s knockout of John Redmond with just one second to spare in the first round, McGregor jumped into the cage to celebrate, despite not being a licensed cornerman. McGregor then got into a shouting match with referee Marc Goddard, who was the same referee that forced McGregor back to his seat weeks ago at the UFC’s event in Poland. As of early Saturday morning, there is no word on any potential punishments McGregor is facing.
Bellator 187 Results:
Featherweight: A.J. McKee def. Brian Moore via technical submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 3, 0:42)
Women’s Featherweight: Sinead Kavangah def. Maria Casanova via TKO (Rd. 1, 0:34)
Catchweight (165 lbs.): Kevin Ferguson Jr. (aka Baby Slice) def. Fred Freeman via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 1:57)
Middleweight: Charlie Ward def. John Redmond via KO (Rd. 1, 4:59)
Dark Bout: Catchweight (161 lbs.): Paul Redmond def. Sergio de Jesus Santos via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)