Rising star AJ McKee did not need much time to show his skills at Bellator 253 Thursday night.
McKee advanced to the finals of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix by securing a first round submission over Darrion Caldwell.
The bout served as the main event live on CBS Sports Network and streaming on DAZN.
McKee, unbeaten now in 17 pro bouts, locked in a neck crank for the win. He stated in a pre-fight interview that Caldwell would “look for a way out” in their match.
In the co-main event, Jason Jackson earned a decision victory over former UFC and WEC champion Benson Henderson. Henderson accepted the fight on short notice, moving up to welterweight to face Jackson.
Joey Davis stayed perfect with a decision over Bobby Lee and Raufeon Stots topped Keith Lee.
On the prelims, Jeremy Kennedy, Jaleel Willis, Jay-Jay Wilson, Kaheem Murray and Sullivan Cauley were all winners.
Bellator 253 Results
A.J. McKee (17-0) defeated Darrion Caldwell (15-4) via submission (neck crank) at 1:11 of round one
Jason Jackson (13-4) defeated Benson Henderson (28-10) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joey Davis (8-0) defeated Bobby Lee (12-5) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Raufeon Stots (15-1) defeated Keith Lee (7-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jeremy Kennedy (16-2, 1 NC) defeated Matt Bessette (24-10, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Jaleel Willis (14-2) defeated Mark Lemminger (11-3) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jay-Jay Wilson (7-0) defeated Sergio de Bari (5-2) via KO (punch) at :20 of round one
Kaheem Murray (4-3) defeated Baby Slice (3-3, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Sullivan Cauley (1-0) defeated Jason Markland (0-2) via TKO (punches) at :28 of round one