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Showtime announces Bellator 255 broadcast team, A.J. McKee joins desk

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Bellator MMA

The Bellator broadcast team has been announced for the promotion’s 2021 kickoff on Showtime, and featherweight star A.J. McKee will make his debut at the analyst desk for Bellator 255.

Joining McKee are veteran broadcasters Mauro Ranallo, John McCarthy, Jenn Brown and Josh Thomson, who will call the action and provide commentary and analysis for the April 2 event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The event marks the first Showtime-televised event and a return to the platform for promotion president Scott Coker, who worked with the premium cable channel under the now-defunct Strikeforce.

Bellator 255 is headlined by a featherweight rematch between two-division champ Patricio Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez. The bout serves as a semifinal bout in the Bellator featherweight grand prix; Freire defended his featherweight belt with a decision over Sanchez in a 2018 meeting.

McKee, who’s set to meet the winner of the rematch in the $1 million tourney, will have a vested interest in the outcome of the fight. The undefeated phenom has already said he wants to face Freire.

“I’m very excited to see who will come out on top in the main event,” McKee stated in the release. “I just want to know who is bringing me my belt.”

Showtime and Bellator announced a new broadcast partnership this past month with the premium cable channel serving as the home for the ViacomCBS-owned promotion. Bellator 255 is the first of three events to air on consecutive Fridays in April; Bellator 256 takes place April 9 and Bellator 257 takes place on April 16.

Bellator 256 serves as the kickoff for an eight-main light heavyweight grand prix featuring a bevy of top-ranked talents including champ Vadim Nemkov.