Terrance McKinney had one of the most memorable UFC debuts ever for a number of reasons.
First, there was the seven-second knockout he recorded. McKinney, a Legacy Fighting Alliance standout with a penchant for lightning-fast finishes, was stepping in on eight days’ notice for an injured Frank Camacho to face Matt Frevola at UFC 263 this past Saturday. He landed a 1-2 on the button to floor Frevola, and the bout was almost immediately waved off. It is the quickest knockout in UFC lightweight history.
Then there was the other reason his debut will never be forgotten.
Shortly after the referee stepped in, McKinney charged toward the fence and climbed up halfway to celebrate before thinking better of it. He dropped back down and landed strangely, immediately crouching down and clutching at his right knee.
On Monday, McKinney spoke to MMA Fighting and he recounted the exhilarating and embarrassing moment.
“I was like, ‘God dang it, I’m an idiot,’” McKinney said on What the Heck. “Because I remember I was about to hop onto the cage to sit on there, but I remembered they said something like, ‘You can’t do that anymore, or you’ll get fined.’ So it was like so fast, I had to double think, I wasn’t even focused on that, it was like, ‘Oh, I can’t do that.’
“That’s what I was thinking in my head, and then I wasn’t thinking about the landing and I landed on my leg weird.”
For now, McKinney is hoping that his injury was simply a hyperextension as opposed to anything worse. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI this week.
“I don’t think [it’s a tear] because I can walk on it now, but I’m not a doctor and I’ve got a high pain tolerance, so I’ve just got to get it checked out either way,” McKinney said, later adding, “I don’t think it’s anything major and if it is, it’s not my first injury, so I’ll make sure I take care of my body, listen to it well, and not rush back.”
Despite his history-making KO, McKinney was not one of the four fighters to receive a bonus following Saturday’s card. This was actually the fourth consecutive first-round finish for McKinney, with three of those occurring in under 20 seconds (the other was the 72-second knockout of Michael Irizarry Ortiz that earned McKinney the call to take on Frevola).
UFC President Dana White said at the UFC 263 post-fight press conference that McKinney would be taken care of, and while McKinney is looking forward to White possibly sending him a bonus, that’s secondary to the thrill of getting his first UFC win.
“I didn’t care about that at all,” McKinney said of the bonus snub. “Like I said, I was just so grateful to God just to be there and just to have a performance like that, nothing can tear me down even if I didn’t get a bonus. Just to get a win like that, it was so surreal.”
If everything is OK with his knee, McKinney wants to stay active and also focus even more on his striking, which he grades a “C-plus” at this stage of his career. His end goal is to follow in the footsteps of fellow Spokane, Wash., native Michael Chiesa, a former training partner who inspired McKinney’s journey, and then eventually become as big as Conor McGregor.
“I’m trying to be the next McGregor, honestly, I think I have that explosiveness and the power to really just put people out and get some crazy highlight reels and finishes,” McKinney said. “Just like the McGregor effect, you know? Just the way he took over the whole game, that’s what I’m looking to do in every aspect.”