Rhys McKee Promising The ‘Perfect’ Revenge At BAMMA 34
It’s been nearly a year since Rhys McKee lost his BAMMA title to Tim Barnett, but at BAMMA 34 on March 3 he’s going to get the opportunity to get his revenge.
McKee was defeated Barnett back at BAMMA 28 when he was finished with just 2-seconds left in the first round. It was widely known that the Northern Irishman was ill heading into the bout and he looked a shadow of himself come fight night. Barnett, an equally capable undefeated prospect fighting out of Liverpool, took full advantage on the night and handed McKee the first loss of his career in impressive fashion.
With the rematch now booked for the SSE Wembley Arena in London, McKee spoke to MMANytt.com earlier today and described why he thinks things are going to be different second time around.
“I’m just going to be a totally different calibre of fighter this time,” McKee said. “I’m a professional athlete that trains 2-3 times a day, the progression I can make in a year can be phenomenal. Since that last fight with Tim I’ve had another two fights and been in Canada.
“I’ve done a lot and I feel like I’ve improved a lot. Tim has fought just once and it was Mario Saeed, no offence to him, but it’s a bit of a difference in my opinion. Now I’m going to be fully well and improved, Tim’s in for a bad night.”
My Journey, My Time
Prior to the first fight between McKee and Barnett, much of the hype focused on the Northern Irishman and BAMMA weren’t shy about putting McKee to the forefront of their promotional activity. Despite the limelight, McKee insists he wasn’t underestimating Barnett and says that his opponents rarely factor into his preparations in any case.
“Nothing about I’m surprised med and I didn’t over or underestimate him,” McKee said. “I was too busy worrying about me and how I was feeling. I knew I was up against it. I could’ve fought a 10-year-old and been up against it that night.
“That’s nothing to do with Tim or whatever, he did what he had to do and he did it well. His time is up though. This is about my journey, not his and not anyone else. It’s time to get my revenge.”
World Title Time
Earlier this week, Mike Shipman ruled himself out of his BAMMA middleweight title defence whilst at the same time Ryan Scope vacated the BAMMA lightweight title after signing for Bellator. McKee believes the stars have aligned for him and Barnett to now fill the void with a BAMMA world title fight but he’s yet to hear anything from the promotion about whether that will happen or not.
“I’m sure Tim wants this to be a world title fight as well,” McKee said. “I’ve not seen him say anything though and that confuses me a bit. I definitely want it and I hope Tim can pull it together and get asking himself. Why wouldn’t we want this to be a world title fight.
“We are worthy of being the #1 contender fight so why not the world title? If you’re telling me I was a contender and then the champ leaves, then I guess I’m ready to be the champion right? I think you can put me in there with any of BAMMA’s lightweights and I could handle business. I’ll be confident defending it as well.”
The Perfect Revenge
With the rematch just 4 weeks away now, McKee is winding down his training and preparing himself for what will be the most important fight of his career so far. The weight of expectations could weigh heavily on his shoulders, but he says he’s ready for fight night and that revenge will be his when it’s all said and done.
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“Sure I’ve been thinking about this rematch a lot,” McKee said. “I was focused on the other fights when they came about, but as soon as they were over this was the one that I wanted. If the fight didn’t happen I would’ve just gone on, but I’m super happy it’s been made and here we are now.
“I can see how this fight is going to. I know it’s going to be totally different to the first one and I’m comfortable everywhere. I know how it’s going to go and I’m not going to say beforehand, but trust me, it’s going to be perfect.”