The UFC is back for its final trip (for now) to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is headlined by a pair of middleweight contenders in former champ Robert Whittaker taking on Darren Till. Also on the card is Shogun Rua vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira and Fabrício Werdum vs. Alexander Gustafsson. As well, Cage Warrior alum Rhys McKee makes his octagon debut on short notice. McKee is set to take on the red-hot Khamzat Chimaev (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
Rhys “Skeletor” McKee
Next Generation I.M.M.A
How will McKee fare in the UFC:
McKee is a Muay Thai striker implanting low calf kicks, elbows, and knees. McKee is a volume fighter that puts kicks and punches together perfectly. He’ll start combinations throwing leg kicks and will throw up to a four-punch combo with his hands. A lot of constant output and a nice flow to his movement and productivity. Being much more confident on the mat he will wrestle at times. His takedown defense needs work but he uses his long limbs to threaten triangle and armbars. His wrestling and jiu-jitsu are good enough to provide some problems but not enough for even mid-tier UFC level guys.
A continuous problem McKee has had is he leaves his chin up sitting on that centerline. He’s fairly easy to hit as a result. However McKee is such a tough fighter, and is always in the fight being able to steal rounds if he’s behind with the amount of volume he puts on in the striking distance, clinch, and on top. So output, striking, and Muay Thai are where he shines and takedown defense and not tucking his chin are his biggest problems.
McKee was part of our Prospects the UFC Should Sign by the End of 2020 piece earlier this month.
How he matches up with Chimaev:
You can imagine Chimaev will try to use his wrestling in this fight and it’s likely that he will have success. McKee has been muscled around and bullied in the clinch when he was at 155 so now at 170 he most likely won’t fare well anytime soon. Chimaev is a big strong natural welterweight who should be easily putting McKee down. Chimaev has also shown that big power in his hands and has the potential to knock out McKee since McKee is so hittable.