It’s safe to say former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee enjoyed his time in Japan, where he defeated Rizin lightweight champion Roberto de Souza in the main event of the evening at Rizin FF vs Bellator New Years event.

This was McKee’s first time fighting in Japan, and just his third fight outside the United States, as he competed in Dublin, Ireland and Torino, Italy each once prior.

This victory saw Bellator talents get the clean 5-0 sweep of Rizin fighters, as they defeated two of their champions.

McKee had the following to say on his time spent in, and fighting in Japan at the post-fight press conference:

“I’m just trying to embrace it all. Being here and fighting in Japan for the fans here is a (once in a) lifetime experience. They just appreciate the art of the sport so much more here. So it’s an honor to be here and put on a great show.”

“This place is phenomenal. Fans are phenomenal, culture is phenomenal, it’s just an honor to be here, honestly. I’ve just heard so many stories and witnessed so many great fights here, so to finally be here and be a part of it…

“I had to redeem the last name McKee. The last time we were here, my father broke his orbital against Aoki. I just wanted to make sure to put on a great show for you guys.

McKee continued: “Man, that was so fun. I don’t know if that’s something I can do every fight, but it’s definitely something I enjoy a lot. I look forward to doing it again. Hopefully Rizin enjoyed the show, and they bring me back, and we can do it again for a title.”

This victory saw AJ McKee climb to 20-1 as a professional, and he’s now on a two-fight win streak with this victory.

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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.