With well over 100 strikes thrown in just the first round, Alex Morono made sure Rhys McKee never got into the fight at UFC Vegas 14.
Alex Morono and Rhys McKee were both looking for their first win of 2020 on the prelims of UFC Vegas 14. For McKee, this bout is a bit more friendly for him after his promotional debut was against rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev earlier this year. Prior to the debut, McKee was a standout in both Cage Warriors and BAMMA, winning the lightweight title in the latter. He came into the fight with a 10-3-1 record with seven knockouts and three submissions.
Morono has had ups and downs in his UFC career, winning his first two fights with the promotion before losing three of his next four. He got back on track with a three-fight win streak highlighted by a victory over Max Griffin. However, he was looking to rebound from a quick knockout loss to Khaos Williams at Saturday’s event.
McKee started the fight with a few jabs and Morono answered with a pair of leg kicks. The fight was off to a frenetic pace with both men pushing the action. Morono back McKee up with an aggressive combination before trading jabs. Morono stayed consistent with his jab then swung around a right hand that connected, avoiding a takedown in the process. McKee ate another right hook. It was a good start for Morono, who changed things up with a combination that featured uppercuts. Morono then forced a clinch, then cracked him with a right hand upon the exit. McKee tried for a Muay Thai clinch to slow Morono down, but ate about five punches while he was holding on. Morono kept the pressure on and forced McKee to clinch again. Late in the round, McKee landed a heavy combination, but he was sent stumbling backwards with a series of right hands. Morono pursued, but McKee thwarted enough of the attack to see another round.
McKee started the second round with his lengthy jab and Morono fired back with low kicks. After throwing over 100 strikes in the first round, Morono slowed down enough for McKee to catch up. A strong jab was the key to McKee’s offense, but at the halfway point, Morono cracked McKee with a heavy combo marked by a knee to the head. He followed up with a brief takedown and continued swinging when they returned to the feet. McKee stayed diligent with his jab, connecting at a high rate, but Morono’s power and volume had done a number on McKee.
There's a first for everything 😅 The Morono-McKee fight stops as a mouthpiece falls under the Octagon. #UFCVegas14 pic.twitter.com/LhRZHbrfrZ
— UFC (@ufc) November 14, 2020
Again, the jab from McKee started the round. Morono landed his looping right hand and was making sure McKee ate multiple punches every time they came together. McKee began pushing the pace on Morono, who was slowing down. A body shot stung Morono, who reacted with a successful takedown. McKee worked his way back up, then McKee’s mouthpiece fell through the cage which caused a fairly lengthy pause in the action. It took quite a while to get the mouthpiece back, so both fighters started firing when they got back to it. Morono ripped to the body then scored a takedown with 90 seconds left. McKee was looking for submissions from the bottom, but Morono pushed through them and got to mount. He closed out the fight with heavy ground-and-pound from mount.
Alex Morono def. Rhys McKee by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)