Bellator featherweight contender AJ McKee shared what advice one of his mentors, boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr., gave him.
McKee is one of the top prospects in all of MMA. At just 25 years old, the sky is the limit for the California native, whose father Antonio fought in the UFC a decade ago. McKee began fighting as a pro in 2015 for Bellator and since then he has racked up 16 wins in 16 fights as he looks to make the leap from a prospect to a champion.
On Thursday, McKee takes on former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell in the semifinals of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. The winner of the fight will get a chance to fight for the belt and a $1 million grand prize in 2021. With superstardom potentially coming up quickly, McKee reached out to one of the biggest stars the combat sports world has ever seen asking for advice.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, McKee said that he called Mayweather asking him for mentorship and advice, and he shared the guidance that “Money” gave him.
“We talked for a good 30 minutes. We really went in kind of deep. I wanted to go in on the family tip — that’s how I first came at him and I think I kind of threw him off on it a little. He was like, ‘Man, hold on, wait,’ and then he came back and we chopped it up a little bit. I don’t know. Maybe it just felt like it was 30 minutes, but we chopped it up for quite a little bit. It was quite an opportunity, I appreciated the words of wisdom. Any man at his age can teach knowledge to a youngin’ and help them become successful, that’s what it’s about, you know what I mean? Helping someone build and be better,” McKee said.
“He said, ‘This is me. This is my show,’ you know what I mean? If no one’s around me adding to me, if someone’s around me not adding or pleasing, or not trying to help me be better and add to my empire, then why do I have them around? It’s selfish, but in a sport, in the fight game we have and that we are in, I get it, you know?”
A win over Caldwell at Bellator 253 and McKee will find himself fighting for the Bellator featherweight title in 2021 against the winner of Patricio Pitbull vs. Emannuel Sanchez. McKee has all the tools in the world to become a champion, and with the mentorship of Mayweather perhaps he will take the next step in his career.
Do you think AJ McKee has what it takes to be a world champion in Bellator?