Something’s going on at the Maximum Fighting Championship that’s making our competitors nervous. Maybe you caught a glimpse at MFC 20: Destined for Greatness or MFC 22: Payoff. Derrick Noble and Carlo Prater sure did. That something is Antonio “Mandingo” McKee, a ferocious fighter who’s been mowing through the ranks for over 10 years and is on a 7-year, 13-fight unbeaten streak. What the other MMA promotions don’t want you to know is that in Antonio McKee, the Maximum Fighting Championship has one of the best fighters in the world.
In the early 2000s, word was circulating through the MMA (then known as NHB, or “no holds barred”) world about an aggressive fighter named Antonio McKee.
Nicknamed “Mandingo”, McKee was an outstanding high school and college wrestler with a record of 112-0 who had been exposed to Brazilian jiu-jitsu by Francisco Bueno and was furthering his submissions training with early MMA participants Joe “Ghetto Man” Charles and Combat Grappling’s Tedd Williams.
McKee had a grand total of four days notice for his first fight on October 13, 1999. His opponent was MMA journeyman Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch, who at the time was 11-10. Mandingo won by submission from strikes and hasn’t slowed down.
His record? It depends who you ask. Some accounts list it as 24-3-2, but McKee maintains that it’s closer to 54-2-1. The point is that Antonio McKee has amassed a record that most fighters could only dream about.
What about the “Mandingo” moniker? “It means ‘intelligent warrior’”, explains McKee. “You can call me that, but you could also call me ‘El Negro’ because I’m coming up to Canada like a storm. All those little bitches up there who think they’re tough… I want them to get a hold of the MFC. Mark Pavelich can line them up and I’ll whoop all of their asses. I’m on a knockout / tap out mission, man. I’m going to break arms and snap legs, so if I catch you in a submission, you better tap.”
And how about the criticism that he isn’t an exciting fighter? That he’s just a wrestler who takes people down and then holds them there? Antonio’s quick to fire back: “Everyone wants to see people get hit in the head. Well that’s exactly what I do… I just do it on the ground. And I’m not holding nobody down there, it’s them holding onto me! I’m on top of them, trying to knock their liver out and they’re hangin’ on hoping the ref will stand us up again.
If you don’t like me on top of you, then just get up. I’m only 155 pounds, what’s your problem?”
So Antonio McKee is tactical stand-up fighter with an explosive takedown and a strong top game. Sound like any fighters you’ve heard of outside of the Maximum Fighting Championship? Maybe a highly popular and well-rounded fighter from Quebec? “Don’t talk to me about GSP”, says McKee, “Did you see that last fight?
That was boring as hell! Pay attention and you’ll see that he’s been fighting more like me as time goes on. The only difference between us is that I’m better. And BJ Penn? I wish he could get released from his contract for just one fight so I could whoop his ass.”
“I’m the best fighter in the world at my weight. I’m callin’ out all the suckers who think they can fight at 155. Come and beat me so I’ll shut up. I’ll go sit on top of a rock and retire. The truth is though, man… once I pick them up and slam them and the punches start coming… they don’t want no more. Just look at their faces after I’m done. They’re split open, bleeding, all lumped up, and need stitches, and I look just like I did when I walked in.”
Any closing comments or advice? “Don’t have any sex before your matches. I got some about four hours before the Carlo Prater fight and, man, my legs were gone. We all know we’re not supposed to do it, but for a horny guy like me…
it’s hard. I still threw a monkey wrench into Prater’s plans that night though.”
When will we get to see Antonio “El Negro” McKee in the Maximum Fighting Championship again? Not soon enough for McKee, who says “if I don’t get a fight soon, maybe I’ll just come up there to beat up Mark Pavelich!” So keep an eye on the still-developing lineups for the upcoming Maximum Fighting Championship
MFC 25: Vindication on May 7, 2010
MFC 26: Retribution on August 27, 2010
MFC 27: Breaking Point in December, 2010