Rhys McKee Adamant ‘The Big Shows Will Come’ Following His BAMMA Lightweight Title Win
Rhys McKee picked up the biggest win of his career last evening when he defeated Tim Barnett at BAMMA 34 to claim the BAMMA lightweight title.
The Next Generation MMA Northern Ireland man dominated the contest from the first bell and put on a striking clinic to take Barnett out inside the first round. Speaking backstage after the fight to MMANytt, McKee explained that everything came off just as he and his team had planned and he felt he could’ve even got the job done more quickly.
“Our plan was to come out, be steady, be relaxed, be assertive and make an early start on the fight,” McKee said. “We didn’t want to let Tim impose his length and range and he’s [got] good power there.
“We stuck to, not a gameplan, but just set a rhythm that we were trying to implement and that’s exactly how it went.
“I was cool, calm and collected and I threw the heavy shots when they were needed and we got Tim out there.
“I felt I maybe could’ve got him out of there sooner, but I had to be conservative because Tim is a warrior and he stayed in there for it all.”
Despite being beaten by Barnett last year, McKee said he entered the contest knowing he was going to win and that he never had any doubts in his mind.
“About 6 weeks ago [I knew I had his number],” McKee said. “About 6 weeks ago, go back even a year ago and I had his number.
“Again, being humble I’m not saying anything negative against Tim, I’m just very confident in my own abilities and that’s all it is man.”
With the BAMMA lightweight title on his shoulder, McKee has no shortage of challengers to face next. One of those is Paul Redmond and with BAMMA visiting Dublin on May 12, it could well set the table for a mouthwatering clash.
“Yeah, Paul is a beast man so it would be class to be a potential opponent for him,” McKee said. “It would be amazing.
“I like Paul [but] if you want to duke it out, we will duke it out. Yeah, let’s see what happens.
“Let’s see what Mr BAMMA comes up with and we will go from there.”
With Bellator CEO Scott Coker in attendance last evening, McKee could well have been one of the fighters to have caught his eye.
While happy to admit he is targeting moving on to the bigger leagues of the UFC or Bellator one day, it appears McKee is in no rush to take the next step up.
“I’ll catch anyone’s eye if they are looking right,” McKee said.
“I was a diamond in the rough and I’m starting to sheen up a little bit now so I know the big shows will be coming for me.
“If they come now or they come later, they will still come.”
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