A.J. McKee spent $100K on handmade samurai suit for Bellator vs. Rizin FF entrance: ‘It took a while to pull the trigger’

A.J. McKee spent $100K on handmade samurai suit for Bellator vs. Rizin FF entrance: ‘It took a while to pull the trigger’

A.J. McKee made his Japanese debut in style.

The former Bellator featherweight champion had quite the entrance when he walked to the ring to face Rizin FF lightweight champion Roberto de Souza in the main event of Rizin FF 40: Bellator vs. Rizin outside of Tokyo.

While “Last Memory” by Takeoff blasted throughout Saitama Super Arena, McKee (20-1) marched down to the ring wearing a full, black, handmade samurai suit as dollar bills with his face on it rained down. It was a spectacle.

As seen, McKee went all out for his first fight in Japan. The 27-year-old dropped $100k in the suit alone, which he says was worth every penny.

“So there’s this place where you can go purchase them,” McKee told MMA Junkie. “He’s got many suits. It depends on the general or who the samurai it was under, so you just, like there’s levels to it, just like anything. So all the other ones were cool looking but this one, in particular, it was that guy. When I saw it, I was like, ‘I got to get this one.’

“I was initially looking at these two other suits, but they weren’t me. I’ll probably still get them just to have them, but this was the one. I did a lot of research. I had some people contact me. I was trying to rent a couple, and then I was like, if you’re going to do it, go full send on it, you know?

“I ended up finding this one and it was 100 bands. I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ It took a while to pull the trigger – a lot of negotiating. I was like, ‘I’ll do half right now, and then we’ll get everything else situated.’ I wanted to walk out in it and put on a show. I knew I was going to need help. It’s a real suit. It’s 25 kilos (55 pounds), that thing was heavy, and I stood in it for like 45 minutes before the fight.”

McKee looked slick across the board, and that carried into the fight. He put on an exciting showing with de Souza and got his hand raised in the end, winning a unanimous decision.

He has no regrets about his latest purchase.

“I don’t mind,” McKee said. “My dad always told me, ‘Scared money, don’t make money.'”

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The debut in Japan is one of McKee’s top 3 career moments. He puts it up there with fighting on the same card with his dad, Antonio McKee, and winning the Bellator featherweight title plus the $1 million prize that came in the grand prix.

“It was phenomenal,” McKee said regarding his experience in Japan. “Since I was a kid, my dad has talked bout just the way that they are – the culture, the fight game, how they appreciate it. It was very different.

“They’re bringing me gifts and stuff I got Poifull Jelly Beans, best jelly beans in the world, no cap. They’re just super awesome, man. I could hear everything in the middle of the rounds. It was different.”

McKee hopes to fight again in Japan in 2023 and is eager to compete there. But for now, he’ll have to go for tourism and not fight business.

“I’m going to go back in a few weeks,” McKee said. “Go out there and do a little bit of snowboarding, handle some business, shopping and so forth.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie