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Former Shadle Park and North Idaho wrestler Terrance McKinney to debut at UFC 263

UPDATED: Fri., June 11, 2021

Spokane resident Terrance McKinney will fight in UFC 263 on Saturday.  (DAN PELLE)
Spokane resident Terrance McKinney will fight in UFC 263 on Saturday. (DAN PELLE)

Two fights in seven days is an anomaly.

It’s also Terrance McKinney’s reality.

The former Shadle Park and North Idaho College wrestling standout makes his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut Saturday when he faces Matt Frevola in UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona, a week after cruising to a lightweight knockout.

It took the 26-year-old McKinney 72 seconds to vanquish Michael Irizarry in a headline Legacy Fighting Alliance bout in Oklahoma to improve his professional mixed martial arts record to 10-3.

McKinney, who has won his last three fights in first-round knockout fashion, then got the call he’d been waiting for since middle school.

“(The UFC) called me on Tuesday and asked if I wanted to fight on Saturday, and I flew out that night,” said McKinney, who agreed to a four-fight UFC contract.

A last-minute opening surfaced when Frevola’s scheduled opponent, Frank Camacho, was involved in a non-life -threatening car accident.

McKinney, who will fight at 3 p.m. on the streaming service ESPN+, looks to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I have been beating some quality opponents, so I believe I am ready,” McKinney said. “But all of the glory, the glory goes to God. He got me here.”

McKinney has been among the most physically talented MMA fighters in the Northwest and came close to signing a UFC contract in 2019 when he was invited to fight in Dana White’s UFC Contender Series, which awarded contracts to winners of the event.

McKinney, who appeared to be in control of Sean Woodson in the ESPN+ featherweight (145 lb.) fight, was defeated by a flying knee. McKinney said he was injured before the fight but didn’t want to withdraw.

Two years later, he inked a UFC contract by much different means and will face Frevola (8-2-1, 2-2), who also has a wrestling background, in a lightweight (155 lb.) bout.

“Fighting at 145 pounds was severe. Cutting that much weight is hard and it made me tired,” McKinney said. “Now my walking-around weight is about 185.”

McKinney, who trains with Spokane’s Warrior Camp, is now the third active UFC athlete from the Lilac City, joining Michael Chiesa and Julianna Pena.

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