Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane fighter Terrance McKinney joins Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship for Jiu Jitsu match against Sidney Outlaw

In this UFC handout, Terrance McKinney poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on July 14 in Las Vegas.  (Getty Images)
By Charlotte McKinley For The Spokesman-Review

Known for being a knockout artist, UFC lightweight Terrance McKinney is returning to his roots on Friday with a grappling match against Bellator lightweight Sidney Outlaw.

Both athletes will move up to the welterweight division as a main card event on the newest big-name jiujitsu promotion: the Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship.

“I just wanted to be different this year,” McKinney said. “Either fighting or grappling match or things like that, so I had my manager hit up a few of the grappling people and we landed (ADXC).”

ADXC is a jiujitsu-based promotion with a bit of a twist. Whereas standard jiujitsu pay-per-view events such as Who’s Number One or Fight To Win have athletes compete on a stage with mats, ADXC puts its athletes in a cage.

McKinney, a Shadle Park High School graduate, is competing in a standard match with three 3-minute rounds and 1-minute breaks between each round. Main events have five 3-minute rounds with 1-minute breaks between.

Winners are decided via submission or by judges using the “10-point must” system.

McKinney’s approach to training for this match differed from his MMA training. There was no specific coach he trained under. Rather, he traveled to Spokane and trained at Warrior Camp and Sikjitsu Fighting Systems for a couple of weeks before returning to resume his training in Texas.

“I think many people don’t realize how good of a wrestler and how good of a grappler (McKinney) is because he has so many knockouts in the UFC,” UFC bantamweight Brady Hiestand said.

McKinney has won three out of five of his UFC fights by knockout – of which his debut fight holds the UFC lightweight record for fastest knockout at 7 seconds.

“It used to be back in the day, his strong suit was his grappling,” Hiestand said, making mention of McKinney’s wrestling background.

Before his MMA transition, McKinney was a standout wrestler at Shadle, then North Idaho College, and finally at Division II Chadron (Nebraska) State during the 2014-2015 season. Of his 15 MMA wins, eight have come by submission.

Now, McKinney steps back into the grappling world to remind people of his ground game.

“Knowing Terrance, he’s very explosive, very athletic. He has really, really strong and good jiujitsu – good defensive jiujitsu,” McKinney’s Spokane coach and Warrior Camp head coach Pablo Alfonso said.

Although Outlaw holds a black belt in jiujitsu under Renzo Gracie and McKinney is a purple belt in jiujitsu under Alfonso, McKinney’s coach is confident he will be victorious.

“It looks like it’s going to be a wrestling match,” Alfonso said. “Whoever wins the war of wrestling matches wins the fight, and I think it’s Terrance. Terrance is young, strong, fights out of the UFC (and) is the highest level in the world.”

McKinney looks to be set evenly against Outlaw in on-paper statistics. The athletes have similar heights and builds alongside a background in wrestling with similar-level MMA careers.

“(McKinney is) good. He’s very smart (and) he’s aware,” Alfonso said of McKinney’s training.

Warrior Camp owner Rose Alfonso thinks that he competes in the same way.

“I think the whole thing is in slow motion for him,” she said. “He has whole conversations about, ‘Well, I was thinking about this when that one foot went up, I was thinking this, this, this, this,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s a lot of thinking for 1 second.’ It has to be in slow motion.”

In addition to preparing for his grappling match, “T-Wrecks,” as he’s called, continues to sharpen his MMA striking skills.

“We’re training every aspect of the game,” McKinney said. “My intent isn’t to be the best striker, it’s to be the best MMA fighter in the world.”

ADXC 2 takes place on Friday at 8 a.m. at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi and will be streamed on TX7 Sports.