After an unsuccssful stint in the UFC, Rhys McKee has finally claimed the Cage Warriors welterweight title he always seemed destined to hold.
In the main event of Cage Warriors 140, Rhys McKee faced off against Justin Burlinson for the welterweight title in front of a passionate Belfast crowd. This fight was a pivotal one for McKee, who had stepped up to the UFC on short notice, facing Khamzat Chimaev on Fight Island. Chimaev ran through McKee as he has done to everyone since. McKee was then given another extremely tough test in UFC veteran Alex Morono, whom he also came up short against. The UFC then unceremoniously cut him from the promotion.
However, he would return to Cage Warriors, the promotion where he had first garnered a reputation for being a dangerous welterweight with lethal intent. After knocking out Aleksi Mäntykivi, McKee was granted a shot at the title, against fellow top European prospect, Justin Burlinson.
‘Skeletor’ looked close to being stopped in the first round, as Burlinson took top control and rained down a flurry of brutal strikes. However, McKee was able to last out the round, and entered the second with renewed vigor.
This time it was McKee who came close to finishing the fight, opening up a nasty cut on the face of Burlinson. The fight did enter the third round, though it would last 20 more seconds. Burlinson attempted a spinning back fist, but McKee evaded, and then landed two clean strikes to send his opponent sinking to the canvas.