Rhys McKee: Ballymena fighter targets first UFC win in Atlantic City

McKee was beaten by Khamzat Chimaev and Alex Morono in his earlier foray into the UFC in 2020 before his return in September saw him lose to Swiss opponent Loosa by a unanimous decision.

The 28-year old says he is desperate to pick up his first win against American Njokuani “by hook or by crook”.

“All I need to do is get this over the line. I fought some of the guys that no-one else would fight, who are still very much in the UFC, active and making runs towards the top 10 in the world,” McKee explained.

“I haven’t fought dummies or idiots, I’ve fought real guys, and in my head it has always been a compliment from the UFC that those are the guys that I am fighting at that level, but now it is about getting over the line.

“I don’t care how I win this fight, it just has to be a win.”

Despite the elevated stakes of the fight, McKee does not feel any additional pressure against Njokuani, who has won two and lost three of his UFC fights.

“Every fight is a must-win and I’m coming off the back of a loss, so this is even more of a must-win fight. I know my back is against the wall, but it is time to perform,” McKee said.

“This fight is huge, for an Irishman to fight in front of an American crowd, where the UFC was born, is a massive deal and to do it against such a testing opponent is the stuff that dreams are made of.”

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