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‘I don’t take kindly to losing’: Spokane fighter Terrance McKinney enters UFC Fight Night match with something to prove

Aug. 4, 2022 Updated Thu., Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:41 p.m.

Terrance McKinney, top, fights Matt Frevola during a lightweight match at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021.  (Getty Images)
Terrance McKinney, top, fights Matt Frevola during a lightweight match at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021. (Getty Images)
By Charlotte McKinley For The Spokesman-Review

Spokane native Terrance McKinney hopes to prove that he’s still among the top up-and-coming lightweights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Coming off his first loss in four fights since joining the UFC, McKinney (12-4) takes on Erick Gonzalez (14-6) in a preliminary bout for UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill in Las Vegas on Saturday.

McKinney (12-4) started off strong in his most recent fight against Drew Dober (24-11) last March in Las Vegas, but after being struck with a knee to the body, it was over for the Shadle Park High School graduate as his opponent pounded him until the referee stopped the match.

Despite his wrestling background, McKinney was unable to turn the tide.

“I just wanted to knock him out so bad, because like, no one in history has ever done it,” McKinney said of Dober, who has never been KO’d.

McKinney said his tunnel vision cost him the fight, but he is determined to not let that happen again.

“I’m looking for both sides of the finish, whether that’s a knockout or submission,” he said of future fights.

McKinney exploded onto the UFC scene on June 12, 2021, breaking the lightweight record for fastest knockout when he dropped Matt Frevola seven seconds into the first round. Before that, McKinney was on a three-fight, first-round-finish win streak while fighting in the Legacy Fighting Alliance.

McKinney’s opponent on Saturday is also coming off a loss. Gonzalez returns to the cage 10 months after his UFC debut ended 14 seconds into the second round with a technical knockout.

Gonzalez stands at 5-foot-9, just an inch shorter than McKinney. Gonzalez has an advantage with arm reach, but McKinney has the leg reach. McKinney has a 59% striking accuracy compared to Gonzalez’s 38% accuracy, but should the fight go to the ground, Gonzalez has the advantage with a 50% grappling accuracy versus McKinney’s 44% accuracy.

In an interview with Cageside MMA, Gonzalez mentioned how he thought McKinney could not go the distance since most of his fights have finished in the first round.

In this camp, McKinney has been focusing on increasing his cardio to prepare for a match that goes past the first round.

“I don’t take kindly to losing,” he said. “(The loss was) very motivating and I just can’t wait to show the world what we’re putting out.”

McKinney has also worked with training partner and friend Saidyokub Kahkramonov (10-2), as the two have helped each other patch holes in their games and strategize for upcoming fights.

On July 9, Kahkramonov beat Ronnie Lawrence via decision on the UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev card. McKinney was in the stands, celebrating the victory.

“It was very nerve-wracking because like, this kid means a lot to me,” McKinney said. “I get way more nervous watching my boys fighting than me competing.”

UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill can be watched on ESPN with the preliminary card starting at 4:00 p.m. and the main card starting at 7:00 p.m.

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