In what resembles an unwanted Christmas present, AJ McKee will do battle with Brian Moore at Bellator 187 on 10 November in Dublin, Ireland. This main event was originally supposed to feature James Gallagher, but now Brian “The Pikeman” Moore, a teammate of Gallagher will represent Straight Blast Gym in the headline bout of the night.
Note: odds have not yet been released for Bellator 187. This page will be updated as soon as odds are released for this event.
Height: 5’8″ (173cm)
Reach: 73.0″ (185cm)
AJ McKee has wanted to fight James Gallagher for a long time now. McKee is tired of Gallagher running his mouth and was hoping to get a shot against Gallagher this year. Unfortunately, his dream hasn’t come true but instead, he’ll certainly settle for the opportunity to bash Gallagher’s teammate Brian Moore in the main event of Bellator 187.
AJ McKee is undefeated after nine fights but has begun to turn heads as one of the best prospects in Bellator MMA. After stringing two consecutive unanimous decision wins together against opponents he should have finished, he bounced back with an impressive 1:15 knockout of Dominic Mazzotta at Bellator 178. Since then, he backed it up with another unanimous decision against Blair Tugman and looks to continue his undefeated streak against Moore this weekend.
Height: 5’7″ (171cm)
At first glance, you wonder how Brian Moore is headlining any Bellator MMA event. But then you remember that Bellator experienced some problems with the re-shuffling of this card after James Gallagher injured his knee.
Moore, who trains at Straight Blast Gym in Ireland under John Kavanagh and alongside Conor McGregor will be looking to upset McKee and score the biggest win of his career under the bright spotlights in Dublin.
Moore joined Bellator in December 2016 and debuted against Daniel Weichel at Bellator 169. He lost the contest via submission in the first round. Eager to return to winning ways, he managed to finish Michal Horejsi in the second round of their featherweight bout at Bellator 177 and now has found himself fighting in the biggest spot of his career.
McKee is powerful, athletic and deceptively strong. Despite all of this, he’s relatively composed and waits to find the right opportunities before striking at this opponent.
He’s still quite raw in many ways. In particular, he leaves his chin up when an opponent enters his range and he doesn’t possess the type of head movement that can help evade strikes.
Moore has decent wrestling ability but seems to have an inability to defend himself from long and nasty strikes from opponents. In particular, leg kicks blended in with punches seem to cause all sorts of trouble for the Irishman.
On the mat, he remains heavy enough to apply some ground and pound from dominant wrestling positions and can work from half guard or inside an opponents full guard to overwhelm them with heavy strikes.
McKee has the well-rounded abilities to avoid this one going to the mat and being beaten up by Moore. Instead, McKee should be able to keep Moore away and stick at him with devastating strikes early and often.
This one might not last long.
AJ McKee by KO/TKO (head kick) -Round 1
AJ McKee vs. Brian Moore
Total Rounds – Under 1.5
Friday, 10 November – 11:00 pm (ET) / 3:00am (GMT)
Odds: – UniBet