Antonio McKee says he will not give back his MFC belt. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Antonio McKee says he found out on Facebook that he had vacated his Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight title.
After calling his management, he learned it was true that Drew Fickett would be fighting Hermes Franca at MFC 30 for the title he believes is still his. According to the MFC, though, McKee’s camp “mutually vacated” the belt.
“It was kind of a shock to me,” McKee said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I had to go get some surgery on my knee and I believe that promoted [MFC President Mark Pavelich] into thinking that I don’t want to fight. I’m like wow, I don’t know if he’s ever looked at my history, but I’ve never pulled out of a fight or walked away from a fight.”
McKee said he informed Pavelich that he’d be ready to fight at the June 10 event, but he was turned down. Explained McKee: “He said, ‘Right now I’m going in a different direction. I don’t have anybody that really wants to fight you or I want you to fight them right now because it’s over, man. You’re done.’ I’m like, ‘How are you going to tell me I’m done fighting?’”
McKee suggested that Pavelich could be open to him fighting the Fickett-Franca winner down the road. In the meantime, McKee plans on keeping his belt.
“Like I told Mark Pavelich, you may take the title away and you may have those guys fight for the title, but there’s no f--king way I’ll give you back the belt,” he said. “Because I’m the champion. You want to be the best in the MFC at 155? Then you have to beat Antonio McKee. By no means did I put the title up for grabs, did I relinquish the belt. Absolutely not.”
McKee thinks Fickett will beat Franca. Whoever prevails, though, expect a target on his back as soon as the new belt goes around his waist.
“I know how to market myself,” McKee said. “Once the winner between Drew Fickett and Hermes Franca [emerges], I’m going to put up the post. You know what’s going to happen. He’s not a champion. That’s Mark Pavelich’s champion. That’s not the people’s champion. I’m the people’s champion in Canada.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 28:00).