Before he stepped into the octagon for the first time in 2022, Terrance McKinney said, “The fans should expect four fights, four finishes – no matter if it’s the first or last round – and expect Terrance to be getting a huge fight at the beginning of 2023 and getting a title mid or end of next year.” He finished Fares Ziam at the 2:11 mark of the first round in that contest. On Saturday, McKinney looks to get his second win of the year when he faces Drew Dober at UFC Vegas 50.
Dober was expected to face Ricky Glenn, but Glenn withdrew from the event and was replaced by McKinney on March 4.
Accepting short notice fights in the UFC is nothing new for McKinney. In 2021, McKinney planned to take some time off after his June 4 win on an LFA card, but while he was relaxing he got the call to fight Matt Frevola on June 12 at UFC 263. McKinney cut his vacation short to fly to Vegas for the fight. He made the most of that opportunity, scoring the fastest knockout in lightweight history with a seven-second stoppage of Frevola.
Dober is on a two-fight losing skid entering UFC Vegas 50. However, it must be noted that those losses came to Islam Makhachev and Brad Riddell. Makhachev is currently the No. 3 ranked fighter in the official UFC lightweight rankings, while Riddell checks in at No. 14. Dober was ranked No. 13 prior to his June 2021 “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning decision loss to Riddell.
McKinney scored a new contract with the UFC prior to the Dober matchup. He told MMA Fighting he had two fights left on his previous deal, adding that his reworked contract came with a pay raise.
The 27-year-old knows this fight is not without risk, but he plans on reaping the rewards of that risk.
“My goal is to be top 10 in the world before the year ends, and I was like, yo, he’s pretty much top 15 in my eyes,” McKinney told MMA Fighting. “And I was like, if I can come out here and make a statement against him, that’s gonna put me right on the mark toward where I want to head.
“I think they’ll put me at least 15th in the rankings [if I win].”
UFC Vegas 50 takes place on Saturday, March 12. The entire fight card streams on ESPN+. Dober vs. McKinney is scheduled to kick off the main card.
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