Khamzat Chimaev gets quick turnaround, faces debuting Rhys McKee at UFC on ESPN 14

One of the most impressive debut performers on “UFC Fight Island” has earned himself a swift turnaround and a chance to repeat the trick at the same venue.

Sweden’s Khamzat Chimaev defeated Welsh knockout artist John Phillips via second-round D’Arce choke at UFC on ESPN+ 30 on Wednesday night at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi in a performance that earned rave reviews.

That victory saw Chimaev move up to middleweight for his octagon debut, but now the 26-year-old will be given the opportunity to make a quick turnaround and compete at his optimal weight class of welterweight when he returns to action Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 14 at Flash Forum.

Chimaev (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will take on former Cage Warriors welterweight contender Rhys McKee. The fight was confirmed by UFC president Dana White during the post-fight press conference at UFC on ESPN+ 30.

UFC on ESPN 14 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

McKee (10-2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is a previous lightweight champion for U.K. promotion BAMMA and, after signing for Cage Warriors in 2018, picked up a pair of stoppage wins in the promotion’s lightweight division.

Most recently, McKee opted to start a new chapter in his career as he moved up to welterweight and scored a 63-second knockout of Hakon Foss to position himself for a shot at the promotion’s 170-pound strap.

But now, instead of preparing for a title shot during Cage Warriors’ scheduled three-night triple-header in September, McKee is packing his bags and getting ready to head to Yas Island for his octagon debut.

With the addition, the UFC on ESPN 14 lineup includes:


  • Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Rua
  • Alexander Gustafsson vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez
  • Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Paul Craig
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Peter Sobotta


  • Jai Herbert vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • Nicolas Dalby vs. Jesse Ronson
  • Tom Aspinall vs. Jake Collier
  • Movsar Evloev vs. Mike Grundy
  • Tanner Boser vs. Raphael Pessoa
  • Bethe Correia vs. Pannie Kianzad
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Niklas Stolze
  • John Castaneda vs. Nathaniel Wood
  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Rhys McKee

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