Bellator remains in Uncasville, Connecticut for Bellator 253. The fight card features one-half of the featherweight grand prix semifinals as Darrion Caldwell takes on A.J. McKee.
Darrion Caldwell (14-3) is riding a two-fight winning streak with both wins coming in the featherweight grand prix. In the opening round of the tournament, he defeated Henry Corrales by decision and then followed that up with a first-round submission win over Adam Borics. Before entering the grand prix, Caldwell lost back-to-back fights to Kyoji Horiguchi for the RIZIN bantamweight title and to lose his Bellator bantamweight title. He defended his bantamweight title once but does hold notable wins over Leandro Higo, Noad Lahat, Joe Warren, and Eduardo Dantas.
A.J. McKee (16-0) is one of the top prospects in all of MMA and all 16 of his pro fights have taken place in Bellator. The 25-year-old is coming off a third-round submission win over Derek Campos and before that had a highlight-reel one-punch eight-second KO over Georgi Karakhanyan. In his career, he also holds wins over the likes of Pat Curran and Daniel Crawford.
Bellator 253 main card also features former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson moving up in weight to battle Jason Jackson. It is Henderson’s first fight since being knocked out by Michael Chandler. Also, a very intriguing bantamweight bout between Raufeon Stots and Keith Lee got promoted to the main card. On the prelims, UFC veteran, Jeremy Kennedy makes his promotional debut while Baby Slice is also on the card.
- A.J. McKee def. Darrion Caldwell via submission (neck crank) at 1:11 of Round 1
- Jason Jackson def. Benson Henderson via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Fight number 3. Unanimous decision number 3. Jason Jackson moves to 13-4 with a great win! pic.twitter.com/QXF6U9y8oY
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 20, 2020
- Joey Davis def. Bobby Lee via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)
- Raufeon Stots def. Keith Lee via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Jeremy Kennedy def. Matt Bessette via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2)
- Jaleel Willis def. Mark Lemminger via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Jay Jay Wilson def. Sergio DeBari via KO (punches) at 0:20 of Round 1
- Kaheem Murray def. Baby Slice via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Sullivan Cauley def. Jason Markland via KO (punches) at 0:28 of Round 1
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) November 19, 2020