AJ McKee (9-0) and James Gallagher (7-0) are two of the hottest prospects on the Bellator roster, and they happen to compete in the same division. As such, the two rising featherweights have developed a pretty memorable rivalry – one that will inevitably have to be settled in the cage.
Speaking on the latest edition of BJ Penn Radio, McKee discussed his beef with Gallagher, explaining that he initially had no interest in a fight with him, but that the Irishman’s disrespect changed his mind.
“He was never really on my radar in the beginning,” McKee told host Kinch. “But it’s just a matter of respect. I’ll take that payday any day.”
McKee also discussed Gallagher’s recent win over Chinzo Machida, brother of former UFC champ Lyoto Machida. Apparently, this win didn’t impress McKee all that much – though he’s never particularly impressed by his rival.
“Chinzo choked, [Gallagher] got in his head,” McKee said. “Chinzo was shitting bricks out there, cause he let him get in his head. [Gallagher] was trying to act like Conor [McGregor].”
“All he does is choke people out with rear-naked [chokes]. It’s cool to get a submission, but he’s not confident like that. If you’re confident, go out there and stand up and put on a show. He doesn’t have it. He thinks he has it, he wants to have it, but truly, deep, down in, he knows he doesn’t have it. I’m going to show him doesn’t have it if he ever mans the hell up. “
McKee then commented on a picture that recently surfaced on the internet, which showed him and Gallagher talking and looking admittedly amicable. Apparently, however, McKee was only directing a “dumb ass” to the WiFi password.
AJ McKee and James Gallagher looking good friends cageside.
Wonder what they're talking to PR man CJ about? Hmmmm @Chisanga_DStar pic.twitter.com/LXRfbkgskN
— Coral Barry (@Coral__Barry) May 19, 2017
“I ran into him at the London event,” McKee said. “I was talking to our media guy. There’s a big picture out, of him standing next to me, talking about how AJ and James are buddy-buddy. But really what happened was I was sitting with our Bellator media guy, I was talking to him about some stuff, and then Gallagher walks up. And this dumb ass, there’s a big ass paper on the table that says ‘WiFi password,’ and he’s like ‘do you know the WiFi password?’ I was like ‘it’s right there dickhead, you don’t see the paper?'”
“I think he wanted to come and be cool, but he’s a disrespectful little shit head.”
James Gallagher is currently scheduled for a fight with Jeremiah Labiano at Bellator 187. McKee is currently unbooked, but fought just recently, defeating Blair Tugman to earn the longest active winning streak in Bellator.
Do you want to see James Gallagher and AJ McKee fight?
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) December 15, 2015
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/3/2017.