Terrance McKinney downplays fast UFC start, but prepared ‘to fight for the belt right now’


Terrance McKinney isn’t letting a fast start to his UFC career go to his head.

At UFC Vegas 49, McKinney improved to 2-0 inside the octagon with two first-round finishes, this time submitting Fares Ziam in a little over two minutes. This was an excellent follow-up from his UFC 263 debut last June where he defeated Matt Frevola in just seven seconds. McKinney already has his next fight booked. He will be taking short notice to face Drew Dober at UFC Vegas 50 on Saturday.

McKinney is now the talk-about prospect at 155 lbs. But McKinney would like it to be clear that his goal is not to create viral videos, but to win a UFC championship.

“I’m not trying to get into hype because there’s still a lot more work to be done,” McKinney said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. McKinney stated that he is not just here to fight. He wants to win the belt.

McKinney and 27, started their breakout runs before they even reached the UFC. He was promoted on the 2019, Contender Series card, where he lost to Sean Woodson in round two. He then lost to future UFC signing Darrick Minner, but returned in 2021 with a vengeance.

First, he knocked Dedrek Sanders out in 16 seconds last March. Seven weeks later, another knockout, this time of Toninho Gavinho in 17 seconds. And then in April, he made it three straight with a 72-second knockout of Michael Irizarry Ortiz. If all of that didn’t earn him another look from the UFC, McKinney then took matters into his own hands by accepting a fight with Frevola on less than a week’s notice and the rest is history.

McKinney never doubted that he’d eventually end up in the octagon.

“No. I did not, as I knew that I was winning the whole fight [with Woodson],” McKinney stated. “I just made one mistake. I knew that if they liked me then, they will like me now. I just need to keep doing what I do and that’s just go out there and finish fights and I’m always looking for the finish and I knew they liked that energy, so I just had to come back stronger.”

With championship gold on his mind, McKinney would be happy to be booked in a title fight tomorrow. Although that won’t be possible, McKinney has signed on to fight Dober, and will make his second trip to the Octagon in just two weeks. He clearly wants to put his money where it’s most needed.

“Throw me to the wolves, whatever, you gonna see that I’m really ready for this moment,” McKinney said. This isn’t a .”


“No fear in my heart. Right now, I feel that I have everything I need for this fight. I’m able to wrestle, grapple and strike. Amazing power in my weight class .”