A.J. McKee won all four of his fights in 2017, and he now has his first date set for 2018.
Officials told MMA Fighting that McKee will face Justin Lawrence in the featherweight co-main event of their April 13 show in St. Charles, Mo., following an initial confirmation by MMAjunkie.
The 22-year-old McKee, son of MMA veteran Antonio McKee, owns a perfect 10-0 record with all of those wins coming inside of the Bellator cage. Last year, he defeated Brandon Phillips, Dominic Mazzotta, Blair Tugman, and Brian Moore. McKee submitted Moore in the third round of the main event of Bellator 187 in Dublin, Ireland (an opportunity that came about after original headliner James Gallagher suffered an injury), his first time closing out a show for the promotion.
Lawrence (11-4), who was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 15, fought three times for the UFC before being released in 2013. Since then, the 27-year-old has compiled a 7-2 record, with four wins for Bellator. He has won back-to-back fights against Andrew Natividad and Treston Thomison.
The still-to-be-numbered April 13 Bellator event will be headlined by a lightweight championship rematch between defending titleholder Brent Primus and Michael Chandler.