Bellator president Scott Coker was happy to leave Saturday’s Bellator MMA vs. RIZIN event with a clean sweep, and says he would award his Most Valuable Player to the man who capped off the undefeated run.
While Patricio Pitbull, Kyoji Horiguchi, Juan Archuleta, and Gadzhi Rabadanov also earned decision wins for Team Bellator, Coker was asked who he would give the MVP award to during his post-fight press conference.
“I think I might have to give it to A.J. McKee,” Coker said to reporters following the event. “I thought he was in some dangerous situations, he got out of them, he did what he had to do to win, and I think he had a great performance.
“When you look at de Souza, that guy is a dangerous fighter. He would definitely get ranked top-10 in the world from this performance, and that was very, very stressful to watch because I thought a couple of times he might’ve been in big trouble.”
McKee showed no fear of de Souza’s incredible ground game throughout the 15 minute battle and found himself in some very tough spots in the final round before getting to the bell to finish off the win — his second straight since moving up to 155 from the featherweight division.
Coker was impressed by the RIZIN competitors that represented their promotion, which was a big reason why he was quite satisfied getting out of Japan with five victories.
“I always said my wish was to go 5-0 and I’m happy that my guys won,” Coker said. “To me, it was very competitive out there.
“For our fighters to come here to compete in a different apparatus, different rules, different environment, different timeframe, I’m proud of them because it’s not an easy thing to do. These guys got here 10 days ago, before Christmastime, and they said, ‘We’re going to give up our Christmas, we’re going to come to Japan early,’ and they’ve been training here the last 10 days. They did it properly.
“I told them, ‘Look, don’t take these fighters lightly because they’re very good.’ I think they took that to heart and they did what they had to do.”