Terrance McKinney downplays fast UFC start, but prepared ‘to fight for the belt right now’
Terrence McKinney doesn’t let his quick start to his UFC career go to his head.
At UFC Vegas 49, McKinney improved his record to 2-0 inside the octagon with two first round finishes, this time defeating Fares Ziam in just over two minutes. It was a worthy follow-up to his debut at UFC 263 last June, where he recorded the fastest finish among UFC lightweights by knocking out Matt Frevola in seven seconds. And McKinney has already booked his next fight, stepping in on short notice to take on Drew Dober at UFC Vegas 50 next Saturday.
Although he’s one of the most talked about prospects at 155 right now, McKinney wants everyone to know that he’s not just here to make viral clips, his ultimate goal is to win the UFC title.
“I’m not trying to get into the hype because there’s still a lot of work to be done,” McKinney said in a recent episode. Hour of MMA. “I’m not just here to fight, I’m here to get the belt, and until that job is done, I won’t worry.”
The 27-year-old McKinney began his breakthrough before even getting into the UFC. His first hit with the promotion came at the 2019 Contender Series card, where he lost a second-round knockout to Shaun Woodson. He then lost to future UFC signing Darrick Minner but returned in 2021 with a vengeance.
First, in March last year, he knocked out Dedrek Sanders in 16 seconds. Seven weeks later, another knockout, this time Toninho Gavigno in 17 seconds. And then in April, he did it three times in a row, knocking out Michael Irizarri Ortiz in 72 seconds. If all this didn’t get him another eye from the UFC, McKinney took matters into his own hands, taking the Frevola fight in less than a week, and the rest is history.
McKinney never doubted that he would end up in the octagon.
“No, I didn’t because I knew I was dominating this fight. [with Woodson]”, McKinney said. “I just made one mistake. I knew that if they liked me then, they will like me now. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, and that’s just going out and finishing fights, and I I’m always looking for the finish line and I knew they loved that energy so I just had to come back stronger.”
Thinking about championship gold, McKinney would be happy with tomorrow’s title fight. It’s not going to happen, but having signed on to fight Dober and making his second entry into the octagon in two weeks, he clearly wants to put his money into what he says.
“Throw me to the wolves, you will see that I am really ready for this moment,” McKinney said. “This is not a game.”
“There is no fear in my heart. I feel like I have everything I need to fight for the belt right now. I can fight, I can fight, I can hit. I got incredible strength for my weight class.”