Let the debate begin.
A.J. McKee continued his undefeated record in emphatic fashion this past Saturday at Bellator 263, where he finished dual champion Patricio Freire in just 1:57 to become the new featherweight title holder, grand prix winner and earned $1 million for his efforts.
The victory left no doubt about McKee (18-0 MMA, 18-0 BMMA) being the best 145 pounder in Bellator, where he’s spent his entire career so far, but what about overall? McKee entered Bellator 263 as the No. 5 featherweight in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings. Coming out of Bellator 263? McKee is the new No. 1 based after his impressive performance, leapfrogging Brian Ortega, Freire, Max Holloway, and UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski for the top spot.
Volkanovski and Ortega will have an upcoming opportunity to move into the top spot when they face each other Sept. 4 at UFC 266. But until then, McKee reigns supreme based on his undefeated resume, which now includes a relatively quick finish of the fighter widely considered the Bellator GOAT.
McKee also entered the pound-for-pound list for the first time, moving into the No. 8 spot just ahead of Volkanovski.
You can check out our complete rankings by weight class and pound-for-pound in the dropdown above.