Sat Sep 11 01:35am EDT
Maybe more fighters need to listen to critical broadcasters and fans before their fights. Antonio McKee was hearing a rash of criticism before his contest tonight at MFC 26 in Canada. The veteran fighter hasn't lost since 2003 but got smashed by HDNet analyst Guy Metzger for being boring. Hell, he's a champion with the promotion and even it didn't have enough confidence in his fighting style to make his fight the main event.
With a flair reminiscent of pro wrestling's "Loser Leaves Town" match, McKee fired back by guaranteeing a win and an exciting finish. If he didn't deliver, he said he'd retire. An inspired McKee made good on the promise. He unloaded two vicious elbows, opened up a nasty cut on Luciano Azevedo's brow to force a stoppage and get the win. Not only did he avoid retiring, he may have gotten himself a much sought after fight with a bigger promotion.
"I said if I don’t get this guy in first or second round, I'm retiring," McKee said after the win. "I gotta give Guy Metzger credit, he brought this out of me."
The victory moved him to 25-3-2 and it secured his first finish in a fight since 2005. Including a draw, he's now won 13 straight fights. Why is he relegated to fighting for promotions like MFC? Fans and MMA bloggers labeled him "Mr. Decision" and said his style is boring. McKee is a huge trash talker but he rarely backed it up in the cage with vicious finishes. He got one tonight.
McKee, a wrestler by nature, scored a takedown just 55 seconds into the fight. Once it hit the deck, McKee looked to control Azevedo's arms so he could land a big strike. Did he ever! McKee unloaded two huge elbows near Azevedo's forehead that busted him wide open. The Brazilian freaked out and flipped over. The cut was like a faucet spurting blood from his head. The fight was over. Well, it should've been. Azevedo essentially gave up but was given the benefit of having the ringside doctor check his wound. It didn't matter. He didn't want to go on and McKee was given the win at 3:11 of the first round.
"I guess it's true, you can teach an old dog new tricks," said the 40-year old McKee. "I'm working on my strikes. My ground is getting ridiculous. I'm happy to be here and kick his young ass."
McKee has dreamed of a shot in the UFC. Part of his recent explosion included claims that he's not being given his due because he's African-American. McKee said his ground and pound style is no different than white fighters in the UFC like Georges St. Pierre, Randy Couture and Matt Hughes.
"I'm just so strong down there," said McKee. "I'm just waiting for the UFC to release B.J. Penn or Sean Sherk and beat their ass up too."
McKee probably deserves at least one shot at the big show. Even if his style has been less than exciting, a seven-year win streak is nothing to sneeze at. Maybe all his talk has caught the attention of the MMA giant and he'll get a chance as a fill-in before the end of 2010.
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