Live

Highlights on Off The Ball

04:00 PM-06:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball
Advertisement
Other Sports

"We’re not just here to get the tracksuits and t-shirts"| Rhys McKee ahead of his UFC debut

Rhys McKee joined OTB AM ahead of his UFC debut on Saturday night. The Ballymena native will me...



Other Sports

"We’re not just here to get the tracksuits and t-shirts"| Rhys McKee ahead of his UFC debut

Rhys McKee joined OTB AM ahead of his UFC debut on Saturday night.

The Ballymena native will meet Khamzat Chimaev on ‘Fight Island’ with a four fight contract on the line.

The Northern Irish rising star took the fight at short notice with just six days to prepare for the contest.

"It's been a whirlwind few days but I’m happy to be here," McKee said after arriving in Abu Dhabi.

"We’ll probably not realise what’s happened until it’s over so we need to enjoy every moment.

"We’ve had every emotion over the last four or five days but excitement is definitely the main one."

The 24-year old was tested for Covid-19 on arrival in Abu Dhabi and also described some of the other protocols put in place by the UFC.

"Coming from the airport, there was a police escort. There’s absolutely no chance that there’s anyone here that shouldn't be," he said. 

"It’s amazing, it's some set up for the fighters."

McKee believes that it's testament to he and his team's hard training that they were able to take this fight at such short notice.

"You can’t say you want the UFC and then when they come calling you say no," he said.

"We’re not just here to get the tracksuits and t-shirts, we’re here to win a fight and put in the performance of a lifetime." 

McKee

The Antrim man is a heavy underdog going into the fight as his opponent boasts an unblemished 7-0 record.

Chimaev is a 26-year-old Russian born fighter who now lives in Sweden and has earned all seven of his career victories by stoppage.

"He’s dangerous, he’s a good opponent. I know he fought ten days ago and there’s massive hype around him so it's a perfect fight," McKee said.

Being the outsider is an unfamiliar position for McKee as when fighting in Cage Warriors and BAMMA (British Association of Mixed Martial Arts) he is often a strong favourite. But, he's relishing the opportunity to "shock the world".

It will be a strange atmosphere for the event in Abu Dhabi as no fans will be present but the Northern Irish fighter doesn't think this will impact his performance.

"I think the drive I have of fighting in the UFC, live on BT sport and ESPN with the whole country behind me will be more than I ever need," he said.

"As much as it's not a live fan arena, I know they’re there with me and I know they’re watching so I don’t think that will be an issue."

McKee has in the past highlighted his move from 155lb to 170lb as a key factor in his efforts to make the UFC roster.

Supporting a 6’1 frame, he previously depleted himself to make the lightweight limit.

During the summer of 2018, OTB’s Niall McGrath documented the final stages of his weight cut.

The welterweight contest between McKee and Chimaev will be on the undercard of the Darren Till and Robert Whittaker clash on Saturday night. A surprise victory for the Northern Irishman would be an incredible way to start his UFC career.

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OTB Sports's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Fight Island Mma Rhys Mckee Ufc

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

04:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

Up next

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:00 PM-08:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Friday Night Racing

Repeat: Friday Night Racing

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

Team 33

Team 33

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Weekend

LIVE: OTB Weekend

01:00 PM-01:30 PM

Share

LIVE: The Saturday Panel

LIVE: The Saturday Panel

01:30 PM-02:30 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Weekend

LIVE: OTB Weekend

02:30 PM-03:00 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Football Saturday

LIVE: OTB Football Saturday

03:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on