UFC Vegas 49’s Terrance McKinney Honing Wrestling, Dropping Bombs

Jamahal Hill, UFC 263
Terrance McKinney during his UFC 263 post fight interview. Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Terrance McKinney has been making headlines since the UFC signed him. After taking a short notice fight to kick off his career, he knocked out Matt Frevola in just seven seconds. While he hasn’t had a chance to follow up that performance, he has been in the public’s eye from that time forward. Some of that is due to his social media presence, but some is due to a pretty real call-out.

A few weeks ago, McKinney had said that he would love to face UFC darling Khamzat Chimaev in a wrestling match. That call drew mixed responses from media and fans alike, but it’s something that McKinney believes would be great for his career.

“It’s something I know I have to keep sharp because, as you guys see, a lot of those wrestlers are on the rise right now in my division,” McKinney said. “So it’s one thing I’m looking to compete in and stay active in.”

And while he knows he needs to work on his wrestling, as he hasn’t had to use it in a fight recently, he also thinks highly of where his skills currently are at. Having wrestled in high school, where he was coached by UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa, he feels he can already hang with the rest of the lightweight division.

“I think fare very well in my division with the best wrestlers – such as Arman [Tsarukyan] and Islam [Makhachev] and Beneil [Dariush],” he said. “I think my wrestling pedigree matches up very well if we ever have to fight.”

Of course, McKinney feels much more confident in his hands, which have carried him to where he is today. He’s not planning on changing that style, but is wants to be prepared for anything.

“I know the hands are  ready for anyone in the world,” McKinney said confidently. “We got to make sure that wrestling is just as sharp as well.”

He’ll test those out this upcoming weekend when he faces Fares Ziam as part of the ESPN+ prelims of UFC Vegas 49 this Saturday.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 27:14.