Antonio McKee (25-4-2 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) that his announced "DREAM.17: Fight for Japan" bout with Shinya Aoki (27-5 MMA, 11-2 DREAM) has fallen through because he was unable to obtain a visa.
HDNet first announced his withdrawal via Twitter, though the reason initially wasn't revealed.
However, a DREAM representative told MMAjunkie.com he isn't buying the fighter's excuse.
"There's a travel agent in L.A. since this morning ready to get all the paperwork processed and have his visa processed by Thursday," said DREAM rep Mike Kogan. "He would have had plenty of time. So if it's a visa issue, he can get it done. If it's not, then his people need to come up with a better excuse."
DREAM.17 takes place May 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and serves as a fundraiser following earthquakes and a tsunami that recently ravaged the country. HDNet is expected to air the show in North America.
It's not clear if Aoki will remain on the card; as of Monday, officials hadn't announced the loss of McKee.
McKee, a former MFC champion and 41-year-old IFL vet, recently made his lone UFC appearance after posting a 15-fight unbeaten streak (14-0-1). However, he then suffered a split-decision defeat to Jacob Volkmann at UFC 125 in January and then received his promotional release. It was the California-based wrestler's first defeat in eight years.