Rhys McKee Ready For BAMMA 33: ‘Nothing Is Going To Stop Me’
It’s not been the easiest 12-months of Rhys McKee’s career, but on Friday, he gets to put all his troubles behind him at BAMMA 33.
The Northern Irishman started the year by losing his BAMMA Lonsdale title to Tim Barnett in Belfast at BAMMA 28 and then followed that up with a draw against Richie Smullen at BAMMA 30 in July. McKee then took a look at free agency, but after a number of start-stop deals with other promotions, he decided to resign with BAMMA.
Speaking to MMANytt.com earlier this week, McKee admitted 2017 hadn’t been the best, but that he was looking forward to getting back in the cage on Friday.
“It’s been a weird year,” McKee said. “I know I’ve had a loss and a draw, but the main problem they year for me has been inactivity.
“I like staying active so very on Friday night I’m looking forward to getting that big win that’s been coming for so long.”
Winning by any means possible
His opponent on Friday, Kams Ekpo, is a French fighter who trains out of London Shootfighters. When asked what he knew about his opponent, McKee said that he was more just focusing on himself and that he was prepared to do anything necessary to get his hand raised.
“To be honest, my coaches do that job,” McKee said. “As long as I’m at the gym working and getting better, that will all take care of itself. I do know that he’s an interesting style and stuff like that, but so am I. My fight IQ is second to none and no matter what, I will find a way to win the fight.
“Whether I lose the first round or the second round, or if I lose two and a half rounds, I’ll always find a way. On Friday I’m leaving with nothing less than a win.”
Letting it all out
Having endured a tough year, McKee is now just focused on putting Ekpo to the sword and taking out all of his difficulties on him.
“I feel like I’ve turned into a veteran this year with my mindset and I feel like I’m an experienced old dog in the game now to be honest,” McKee said with a laugh. “I’ve been bouncing off all the experienced lads I’ve been around with this year and I’ve met some amazing people and my mindset has totally changed.
“I’m not getting ahead of myself though. I’m going to go in there on Friday and absolutely smash this guy. That’s the only thing on my mind at this minute, putting an absolute domination on someone.”
Breaking his heart
One thing McKee isn’t fussy about is how he gets the job done. As far as he’s concerned, a win is a win on Friday night whatever way it comes.
“I’m going to go in there and break his heart and I don’t care if I do that in 10-seconds or the last minute of the third round,” McKee said. “I’m going to go in there and absolutely dominate this man. Whether it’s stand up, wrestling or jiu-jitsu, I don’t care.
“I’m going to go in there and break his heart and once I see him break I’m going to pick what I want to do. I’m not taking anything away from him. I’m sure he’s a good opponent and I’m sure he’s going to give me a test on the night, but I’m just so focused on myself right now because that’s what I need to be.”
Wanting it more than ever
Anything thinking that McKee would be disheartened by the past 12-months is very much mistaken. The difficulties he’s had to endure have only spurred him on more and now more determined than ever to find his way to the top.
“I tell you what, this has all made the fire burn twice as bright,” McKee said. “From seeing all the ups and downs in this sport, there’s nothing I want more than this and nothing is going to stop me.
“I know this is what I want and I know this is what I’m meant to do. Even being around the shows like KSW and stuff, I totally know this is made for me and I will get there.”