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How Good Is A.J. Mckee?

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by MMAProfessional, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. MMAProfessional Golden Belt

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    I thought he was overhyped and was a little annoyed at how slow they were promoting him but Caldwell is pretty good and tested and he finished his quickly with a neck crank. I'm guessing he will face Pitbull in the finals so if he can get a win over him that will be huge.
     
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  2. Hellowhosthat If he dies he dies

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    Clearly very good, just need to see him in deep waters, but someone has to be able to put him there.
     
  3. sonhow Silver Belt

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    I want to say he is the best 145 fighter but we need to see him vs top guys before it can be made official.
     
  4. tehMoose The slayer of ufc shills

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    Elite

    If he beats Pitbull he's probably the best 145er in the world
     
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  5. Ace70 V2 Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    Was that a neck crank? I've never seen it applied like that. It was slick as fuck. Darrion didn't know what was happening until it was too late.
     
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  6. careto Black Belt

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    Good enough to have finished his three opponents (2 in the first round) in route to the finals.
    I was impressed by his victory over Georgi. Not because I think Georgi is elite or anything but he is tough AF. Georgi losses only to the very best but never gets finished. If Im not mistaken only Pitbull had finished him before in over 40 fights. AJ walked in there and KOd him in less than 10 seconds.
     
  7. TheMMAnalyst Purple Belt

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    I think it was a modified shoulder-lock/neck-crank; I've seen Gordon Ryan use a variation of that to typically break guys posture down and set them up for other submissions but rarely do you ever see it as a finishing move.

    Looks like Caldwell put his head on the mat (ridiculous mistake) and McKee has incredibly slick grappling, looked for that figure-four grip-lock off the shoulder-lockdown and then locked up a body triangle and extended.

    What really makes it odd is that should literally never happen in grappling; Caldwell should've been rotating his left arm over to release the pressure from his shoulder and allowed himself to be rolled and mounted (which is pretty much the only escape). Instead he chose to actively fight against it - you can see him gritting his teeth as he actively tries to keep his left arm close to his body.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he tore his rotator cuff or labrum; he didn't move his left arm after the fight and you could see it was under his t-shirt in a sling during the winner announcement (didn't even attempt to clap). I've seen neck-cranks cause neck/back damage but not shoulder damage which is why I think it's a modified hybrid attack that if not defended properly can result in this.
     
  8. careto Black Belt

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    Awesome breakdown of the submission, the more I think about it the more I realize AJ is actually underrated. At the same time, he probably doesnt have what it takes to beat Pitbull, yet. Although AJ has all the tools to hang in there with him, I dont know if AJ is ready for Pitbull's power. Patricio is just on a different level and in his prime.
     
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  9. TheMMAnalyst Purple Belt

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    You hit the nail on the head Sherbro - he is HIGHLY underrated. The thing is if you don't fight in the UFC that people don't give you enough respect, but you can only fight the opponents available. So when you are a bigger fish in a small pond people assume that you are just feeding on guppies, when there are also other big fish around (even if the pond is small).

    I think he does have what it takes to beat Pitbull, but it's a 50/50 fight; Pitbull will have advantages in ability to counter but will be giving up significant length so will have to be slipping lots of jabs to work inside the distance. That's a fight where whoever is controlling the action will win, be it through feints, blitzes, or distance strikes.

    Love Patricio and he is as legit as they come but he is pretty "seasoned" in fight years. At some point the trade-off of fight experience for declining athleticism starts to tilt towards athleticism heavily. Patricio is still very fast but probably not as fast as in his prime and his overall out-put has probably dropped as well (though he is far, far better at reading the fight and picking his exchanges and moments).

    It's a legit past/present vs. the future match-up, which we rarely see. Too bad we'll have to wait 2 months for Pitbull to fight Sanchez and then another 2-3 months to make this fight, so we likely don't see it until Summer of 2021.
     
  10. careto Black Belt

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    Coker said he wants the fight to happen by the end of March, so keep your fingers crossed.

    I know for sure I will not be putting money on this fight. The more I think about the more I realize that AJ has the skills to beat Pitbull. Carvalho had a horrible gameplan going in. He wanted to bring the fight to Pitbull and be in his face pressuing him the entire time. But you cant be within Pitbull's striking range and expect to not get hurt. You need to use length, be out of his range and use speed to stick and move, and mix up your strikes with take downs to keep him guessing. You need to nearly execute a perfect fight against Pitbull. And i think AJ has it all, but i dont know how he will react to getting punched by that kind of power. We have never seen AJ in deep waters, and Im assuming Patricio will drag him to the deep end.
     
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  11. Ace70 V2 Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    That was a expert level breakdown and much appreciated. I did notice Caldwell favoring that shoulder as soon as he stood up. And as the decision was read. Hopefully it's just sore. He seems like he has a penchant for leaving his neck exposed. Might be an area he needs to improve in.
     
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  12. SalvadorAllende Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    Bellator did an incredible job building him up.

    He is amazing. Can't wait for his fight against Pitbull. I think he wins.
     
  13. GangGangGang Brown Belt

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    Yes, but no. He is going into his first title fight yet already holds multiple promotion records. Only took him 17 Bellator fights to get a title shot.
     
  14. careto Black Belt

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    They built him up too soon for my taste. I think he was ready for top fighters 6 fights ago. But who knows, maybe those extra fights helped him develop and mature as a fighter. Maybe if he would have been thrown in there with Sanchez, Weichel, Pitbull, etc. before his career would have taken a down turn. Like, mentally he would have never recovered if he would have lost.
     
  15. SalvadorAllende Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    He is only 25 and 5 years into his pro career so I think the timing was great. Much better than others like Pico who was rushed or MVP who.. well.. keeps fighting cans.

    Foor good measure.. Adesanya was 17-0 when he fought for the UFC undisputed title.
     
  16. Memeojima Banned Banned

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    I think Pitbull schools him
     
  17. EJRMAN513 Black Belt

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    I still think the ways he lost to Curran 7 years ago and Straus 5 years ago are viable ways to beat him. Both longer guys for 145 who either kept him at range and pieced him up with jabs and other long range weapons for 5 rounds(Curran) or used their long range weapons to consistently hurt and keep Pitbulls respect throughout the fight(Straus)

    Pitbulls recent evolution into a bit of karate stanced boxer has helped him deal with his shortcomings in reach and probably with his counter punching as well but as you said you can't be in his range when working.

    With Pitbull you have to fight as if there's little room for error or you have to be able to hurt him and hurt him bad.
     
  18. careto Black Belt

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    Yes, that might be the way to defeat Pitbull, however, I dont know how many fighter can execute that game plan against him. The minute AJ does not respect Pitbull's power he will regret it. Again, Pitbull is a sniper with that right hand and has too much power to end the fight any second, whereas McKee needs to dominate him for 5 rounds. I think if there are any fighters in the division that has the tools to beat him are Sanchez and AJ so, Pitbull has his work cut out for him.

    Should Sanchez fail at beating Pitbull I think his next step would be to go to BW, tbh.
     
  19. Hellowhosthat If he dies he dies

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    Imo that's why Max would be such a bad matchup for him, but he doesn't have to worry about Max.
     
  20. careto Black Belt

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    Exactly, IMO Pitbull beats Volk but Max beats Pitbull. The only issue with Max is that he turn fights into slugfests sometimes, which make for really fun fights, but against guys like Pitbull or Ortega can be quiet dangerous.
     
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