A boy brought up amidst poverty and violence has grown into a man with an entrepreneurial instinct and comfortable lifestyle.
“I’m going to take them out one at a time. Who’s going to beat McKee at 155? Only way I lose is if I’m not in shape or I get caught. Whose wrestling is better than mine? Gray Maynard? Volkmann? I’m going to make Volkmann look like nothing. We thought Volkmann could wrestle. Volkmann can’t wrestle.”
“I feel like I’m the Muhammad Ali of MMA. I feel like I’m the Don King of MMA. I feel like I’m the Tupac Shakur of MMA. I’m the mouth, the talent, the brains, and I’m also the business side. Where does that put me? That puts me as one of the all-time greatest black mixed martial arts fighters.”
“A lot of times when people interview me, they provoke me to say the things that I say, and I know they’re doing it, so I play the game. That’s why I’m one of the most interviewed fighters in the game. I create controversy, and controversy sells.
Following victories over Carlo Prater and Derrick Noble in 2009, McKee asked UFC matchmaker Joe Silva what the UFC wanted to see from him. Silva told him to finish some fights.
In turn, McKee recorded a first-round submission of Rodrigo Ruiz in his next outing. Prior to his fight with Azevedo at MFC 26, McKee vowed to retire if the match went to a decision. McKee opened up Azevedo with a vicious elbow and scored a first-round technical knockout via doctor stoppage.
“Azevedo running his mouth saying I’m old and senile. I’m the wrong guy to say that to. I came from that. You run your mouth, I’ll test you. They brought the n---- out of me. And look what happened. That was some n---- stuff: splitting a guy’s head open for money and [defaming] his character on national TV.
“After that fight, I got back to California on Saturday. On Sunday, I was in church on my hands and knees, praying and crying. My daughter asked, ‘Dad, why are you crying?’ I told her I was asking God to help me because that was the guy I knew back in the streets. I don’t want to be that guy. I asked God to deliver me because I don’t want to be that character.”
“I knew what the UFC was looking for previously ... It wasn’t worth it to me, as a young man, to go out and put on a monkey show for two or three thousand dollars. I would rather win a decision and walk away with not a scratch on me. But with these incentives, absolutely, it changes things. I’m going to try to knock Volkmann’s head off his shoulders.”
“Some fighters I feel sorry for, but I take my hat off to them. At 50, 60 years old, I still want to be a dad and play basketball. I don’t want to be walking around here, shaking my head, not knowing who I am and my memory’s shot. The moment I get a good ass whipping, I’m done. I just want to know if I’m the best fighter in the world or if I’m a bunch of hot air.”
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McKee stops Acevedo
McKee is set to make his UFC debut against Volkmann at UFC 125 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
MMA gear now available at the UG Store