The co-main event of Bellator 286 featured the promotion’s former featherweight champion AJ McKee making a successful lightweight debut against Spike Carlyle.
Although he ended up winning every round on all 3 judge’s scorecards, McKee was certainly tested in his first foray into a new weight class. Carlyle came out extremely aggressive with a flying kick before pursuing “Mercenary” with strikes, and there were several moments in the first round where Carlyle had some success using his wrestling.
The former champion managed to steadily take control as the bout went on, landing some big punches as well as using his grappling skills to control Carlyle and hunt for submissions. “The Alpha Ginger” was never out of the fight however and regularly managed to get back to his feet or look to sweep McKee.
Carlyle was bloody and battered by the end of the fight, but even a late rear-naked choke attempt wasn’t enough to make the 29-year-old quit.
MMA Twitter Reacts To McKee’s Victory
McKee’s debut at lightweight was certainly impressive, and the action from the bout also inspired some commentary from various members of the MMA community.
With the win, McKee rebounded from his first career loss to Patricio Pitbull where he lost the Bellator featherweight title.
MMA News has all of the results and highlights from Bellator 286.