Bellator 286: Spike Carlyle believes ‘God ordained’ AJ McKee matchup

Spike Carlyle vs. AJ McKee a result of divine intervention, if you ask Carlyle. 

Spike Carlyle fights frantic at times, keeping his opponents on their toes to be sure; this was also the case when he spoke Thursday with Amy Kaplan of FanSided MMA ahead of his Bellator 286 battle with AJ McKee.

“God ordained something else, and now I have one of the biggest names in Bellator I’m fighting,” Carlyle said when asked how this matchup came to be. Carlyle explained that he had initially turned down a fight with Jay Jay Wilson, who is fighting on the preliminary card.

Carlyle won’t fight his friends, not even for a title.

Asked if he had a firm rule of not fighting friends, Carlyle said, “We pour into each other, we teach each other; I just don’t think it’s right to have to compete against someone you know so well; that’s not cool.”

What about if a title was on the line? Carlyle stood firm, “I don’t think so; one of my closest friends Beneil Dariush who’s highly ranked in the UFC; I would never want to hurt that guy; I love him.”

“Either they think I’m a good tune-up fight for AJ, or they think I’m a real contender,” Carlyle said when asked if he felt like this matchup shows how much Bellator thinks of him as a fighter. That’s a fair assessment from a guy who turned down a fight that would have landed him on the preliminary card.

Carlyle (+360) is a reasonably substantial betting underdog, a point not lost on Carlyle, “Apparently, all the oddsmakers think I’m about to get ran through.”

“The Alpha Ginger” Carlyle enters his fight with McKee on a five-fight win streak, all inside the distance. Saturday is Mckee’s first fight up at lightweight; we may have a live dog in this spot.

Bellator 286 takes place on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, live from The Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.



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