HomeSportI fought Khamzat Chimaev in disastrous debut before UFC cut me –...

I fought Khamzat Chimaev in disastrous debut before UFC cut me – now I’m back to prove I belong and get a rematch

Rhys McKee will make his second UFC debut on Saturday night.

The 27-year-old welterweight will square off against Ange Loosa at UFC Paris on Saturday night following a long fight camp.


McKee weighed in at 171lbs on Friday morningCredit: Getty

‘Skeletor’ was not given time to prepare for his first UFC fight in July 2020.

On six days, McKee flew to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi where he faced off against menacing contender Khamzat Chimaev in his second UFC bout.

‘Borz’ had recently enjoyed a spectacular UFC debut win over John Phillips at middleweight before booking a quick follow-up fight at welterweight.

Despite his best effort, McKee proved to be out of depth against the undefeated Chechen who stopped him with strikes inside four minutes.

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He was given another chance to prove himself in the UFC later that year but fell to a unanimous decision defeat against 170lb veteran Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 14.

A second successive loss spelled the end of his first UFC run and the Northern Irish fight star was forced to return to Cage Warriors where he first made his name.

Three fights, three finishes, and a world title win later, McKee was invited back to MMA’s premier league – this time he’s determined to showcase his true ability.

“Obviously, when I fought Khamzat, I travelled half the way across the world on six days’ notice, with no training, to fight a man. That alone shows I’ve got a big set of stones,” McKee told talkSPORT ahead of UFC Paris.

Chimaev has become one of the UFC's biggest stars


Chimaev has become one of the UFC’s biggest starsCredit: getty
He mauled McKee in his second UFC bout


He mauled McKee in his second UFC bout

“The next time, I fought Morono who had over ten fights in the UFC. That was my last fight, that was over three years ago and he’s still in the UFC.”

McKee believes rematches with Chimaev and Morono are inevitable.

“This is a nice one back, but don’t get me wrong I’m going to come for these names again,” he added.

“I’m going to make enough noise [and] have enough clean performances here where people are going to be wanting me to fight Morono again and fight Khamzat again.

“That’s the noise I’m going to make here. Yes, it was maybe a bit naïve and early at the time, but we are going to right the wrongs, that’s for sure.”

All 13 of McKee’s wins have come by stoppage, so whatever happens on Saturday night he’s sure to entertain the face at the Accor Arena.




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