- A.J. McKee talked about the $100k handmade samurai suit he rocked on his Bellator vs. Rizin entrance
- “Mercenary” is eyeing to become a champion again this year
A.J. McKee ensured his MMA debut in Japan will be as epic as possible. By that, the former Bellator featherweight king meant he wouldn’t mind splurging $100K on a handmade samurai suit for a grand entrance in his Bellator vs. Rizin bout against Roberto de Souza.
All worth it
According to McKee, the purchase took “a lot of negotiating” but after all said and done, “Mercenary” reckoned that the $100k suit was indeed a bang for the buck so, he finally bought it.
“So there’s this place where you can go purchase them,” McKee told MMA Junkie. “He’s got many suits. It depends on the general or who the samurai it was under, so you just, like there’s levels to it, just like anything. So all the other ones were cool looking but this one, in particular, it was that guy. When I saw it, I was like, ‘I got to get this one.’”
“I was initially looking at these two other suits, but they weren’t me,” he continued. “I’ll probably still get them just to have them, but this was the one. I did a lot of research. I had some people contact me. I was trying to rent a couple, and then I was like, if you’re going to do it, go full send on it, you know?
“I ended up finding this one and it was 100 bands. I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ It took a while to pull the trigger – a lot of negotiating. I was like, ‘I’ll do half right now, and then we’ll get everything else situated.’ I wanted to walk out in it and put on a show. I knew I was going to need help. It’s a real suit. It’s 25 kilos (55 pounds), that thing was heavy, and I stood in it for like 45 minutes before the fight,” he added.
When asked if he had any regrets, McKee flat out replied:
“I don’t mind. My dad always told me, ‘Scared money, don’t make money.’”
Love at first arrival
McKee has been fighting since 2012 but it was his first time competing in front of Japanese MMA fans in the Land of the Rising Sun. The 27-year-old admitted that he quickly fell in love with Japan and he plans on coming back at all costs.
“It was phenomenal,” McKee said of his experience in Japan. “Since I was a kid, my dad has talked bout just the way that they are – the culture, the fight game, how they appreciate it. It was very different. They’re bringing me gifts and stuff I got Poifull Jelly Beans, best jelly beans in the world, no cap. They’re just super awesome, man. I could hear everything in the middle of the rounds. It was different.”
“I’m going to go back in a few weeks,” he vowed. “Go out there and do a little bit of snowboarding, handle some business, shopping and so forth.”
Mckee has now won his last two fights and he’s eyeing to become champion once again this year. He made it clear that he wants a lightweight title fight with Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator Grand Prix.