'Pack your bags, you're going to Fight Island!' MMA prodigy Rhys McKee STUNNED as he is told of short-notice UFC debut (VIDEO)
McKee, a graduate of the Cage Warriors promotion which also featured the likes of Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping before they joined the UFC, has long been considered as a prime candidate to be drafted to the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion – and that call finally came this weekend.
Northern Irishman McKee will fight the undefeated Chimaev, who was thoroughly dominant in his maiden UFC appearance on Saturday night against John Phillips, and will take on his second fight for the promotion just 10 days after the first.
Perhaps McKee might have envisaged a little more preparation time, but he certainly didn't back down from the opportunity when he was presented with it by Cage Warriors chief Graham Boylan.
"Are you serious?" a clearly stunned McKee tells Boylan in the video call which was released to social media.
"This is it. Who did we get? Don't know, don't care. Let's do it!"
McKee comes into the UFC with a stellar reputation on the European scene. He is the only man to have hold a win against vicious striker Jai Herbert, the Englishman who will make his highly-anticipated UFC debut on the same July 25 card, and each of McKee's 10 career wins has come inside the distance.
The Ballymena native had been expected to make his UFC debut in a proposed event in the Irish capital in August but with that event postponed due to the coronavirus, the 24-year-old McKee had faced a potential delay to his UFC ambitions.
However, and in news that echoes that of Jorge Masvidal earlier this month, McKee will step into the cage on "Fight Island" on just six days notice in a fight that he hopes this will be the first step towards welterweight title contention.
And, if he can claim the win against Chimaev – the man who has drawn more than a few comparisons to Khabib Nurmagomedov – McKee's ambitions could draw closer to reality.Also on rt.com 'Don't look crazy at me': Georgia's Roman Dolidze OBLITERATES Russian UFC rival with knee KO on Fight Island (VIDEO)