On a Wednesday appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show, 40-year old lightweight fighter Antonio “Mandingo” McKee broke the news that he has been signed to the world’s most notable mixed martial arts promotion, the UFC.
“Well, I’m there already, brother,” McKee responded when asked if he was looking to enter the big show. “I’ve got to be quiet about it right now. Just wait until they tell you that, but I’m there.”
McKee, the Maximum Fighting Championship Lightweight Champion, holds a professional record of 25-3-2, which he recently improved with a TKO win over Luciano Azevedo (the only man to defeat Jose Aldo). McKee finished the fight by opening a brutal gash on Azevedo’s head with an elbow strike from top position, something that “Mandingo” had a hard time dealing with afterward.
“After that fight was over, I felt bad for that guy,” he said. “I split that dude’s head open. I just changed his face for the rest of his life. That gash was so deep and so long that he had to receive staples — not stitches, staples. I don’t want to be that monster. That’s the monster that came from the streets and when I told you I had to go back to the ghetto and grab a part of me that I tried to get rid of I brought him back and that’s scary to me because I don’t think nobody can deal with that individual.”
McKee owns 18 decisions on his record compared to three TKOs and four submissions and recently came under some criticism for his decision-prone, low-risk style. “Mandingo” sought to prove the doubters wrong in this fight by ending things early and he did just that, earning himself a UFC contract in the process.
“This wasn’t about the fans,” said McKee. “This was to shut up Bas Rutten, Guy Mezger. This was to shut everybody up. I can do what I want to do. I control the top game. I don’t get submitted. You haven’t ever seen me fight out of a submission. I’m the baddest n—-er on the planet at 155 pounds and right after that, look what happened? I got a call from the UFC who said, ‘We got a four-fight deal.’”
McKee has not lost a contest since a 2003 decision loss to Karo Parisyan, making him undefeated in his last fifteen fights (save for a draw against Akbarh Arreola dating back to 2004). McKee holds notable wins over Marcus Aurelio, Mike Dolce, Carlo Prater, and Toby Imada. He guaranteed during his interview that his UFC career will be marked by the kind of controlling violence displayed during his recent bout with Azevedo.
“I’m going to make everybody a believer now because I now understand that if it’s violence and blood which you want, I’m going to give it to you the best I can,” he said.