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19th Jul 2023

Fourth Irish fighter signs up with UFC as Rhys McKee gets another shot at the big time

Patrick McCarry

Rhys McKee

‘Skeletor’ gets a second bite at the cherry.

The UFC has announced Northern Irish fighter Rhys McKee is returning to the promotion, and will appear at a Fight Night event in Paris.

The 27-year-old [13-4-1], a former Cage Warriors champion, will take on Swiss fighter Ange Loosa [9-3] at Accor Arena, Paris. That fight card will be headlined by local favourite Cyril Gane’s heavyweight bout against Sergey Spivak, with former women’s flyweight champion Rose Namajunas adding extra clout to proceedings.

McKee will be the fourth active Irish fighter on the UFC roster, along with Conor McGregor, Ian Garry and Shauna Bannon, who debuts at UFC London, this weekend. A statement on the welterweight’s return to the UFC reads:

‘Rhys McKee will return to the UFC, on September 2, to take on Ange Loosa in the welterweight division on the UFC’s second ever event in Paris, France which will be headlined by two of the top heavyweight contenders.

‘McKee held the welterweight championship belt in Cage Warriors, the promotion that has produced MMA stars such as Conor McGregor. Following an impressive three fight win streak that included three consecutive finishes, McKee stands at 13-4-1.’

Rhys McKeeRhys McKee, left, in action against Richie Smullen during their lightweight bout at BAMMA 30, in 2017. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Rhys McKee gets shot at UFC redemption

Rhys McKee will take on Ange Loosa as part of UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Spivac on September 2, in Paris. It will be a three-round welterweight bout.

McKee moved from Cage Warriors to the UFC in 2020 but lost to the impressive, deadly Khamzat Chimaev in his opening crack and Alex Morono in his next time out. He returned to Cage Warriors and stacked up three straight stoppage wins to earn himself an invite back to the big dance.

The UFC has not held an event in Dublin since 2015 but they could well be priming themselves for an Irish comeback, now that Garry is on a winning streak and both McKee and Bannon are on the roster.

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