The final newcomer at UFC Fight Island 3 appeared to have a daunting task ahead of him. Rhys McKee joined the UFC on Saturday, and the former Cage Warriors standout was lined up with Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev had made his own promotional debut barely over a week ago, and was dominant against John Phillips. That earned him a quick turnaround and a chance to set a record (should he defeat McKee, Chimaev would own the the record for the shortest period between wins, excluding the early UFC tournaments).
Chimaev was also dropping to welterweight for the fight, after debuting at 185lbs. The bout opened the UFC Fight Island 3 card, the final show of the month in Abu Dhabi.
Chimaev right at the start of the fight shot in on McKee, and carried him to his corner before getting the takedown. Right into mount by Chimaev, and he was almost instantly battering McKee’s face with punches. McKee was still moving but Chimaev is all over him. Constant punches and elbows from Chimaev were really putting a beating on McKee. Eventually, the ref saved McKee, after he’d taken some relentless punishment.
🇸🇪 @KChimaev with the RD 1 demolition!
— UFC (@ufc) July 26, 2020
There have been lots of comparisons between Chimaev and lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. But at least early in Chimaev’s UFC run, they’re well-founded. Strong grapplers, punishing ground and pound, smothering, great finishing ability. With the record for shortest time between wins secured, Khamzat Chimaev looks to be the real deal.
Official Result: Khamzat Chimaev def. Rhys McKee by TKO (Ground and pound), Round 1, 3:09