Ballymena native Rhys McKee will make his debut for the UFC next weekend on ‘Fight Island’ after accepting a fight on just one week’s notice.
McKee is one of Europe’s brightest up and coming prospects and has reportedly signed a four-fight deal with the promotion
The 25-year-old will face a difficult test in the unbeaten Khamzat Chimaev at welterweight, who was in action just three days ago at the first Fight Island event at middleweight.
If McKee can get a victory it would surely be the biggest of his career to date which has seen him win his last three fights in the Cage Warriors promotion.
McKee has always been confident of making it to the UFC and speaking earlier this year he likened his rise to that of Conor McGregor’s
“I know for a fact I will fight in the UFC and that belief hasn’t wavered because of the current situation we find ourselves in with the coronavirus,” McKee told Belfast Live.
“I thought it would be this year, but I’m patient. My aim is still to become a household name, the best athlete Northern Ireland or Ireland has had and create a lasting legacy.
“Do I want to make the same journey as Conor McGregor? Absolutely. McGregor fought on the same shows I’ve fought on and he had the same high knockout rate as me.
“If I was to say that’s not what I’m trying to emulate, I’d be a liar. How could you not take a page from Conor’s book? It’s amazing what he has done.”
McKee’s reported signing comes just a day after fellow Irish fighter Joe Duffy announced his retirement from the sport following a loss to Joel Alvarez at UFC Fight Island.
“Thank you all so much for all your messages of support all week,” Duffy wrote on social media. “I have been blessed on this journey in MMA and am truly grateful for every experience.”