Terrance McKinney



Date Of Birth

September 15, 1981







I was so embarrassed, to be honest, I was really disappointed in myself. Just seeing my mom’s face in tears. She could have lost me forever, and I’m her first born. That was a huge game changer for me. Seeing my family members crying and sad. Just seeing that inspired me to make a change. I tried to be around them every day, and I still feel they’re hurt. That pushes me to be the man I am today.

From Zero To Win

McKinney Has Been Fighting Since 2017

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Years Of Career

McKinney was born and raised to his mother Kitara Johnson, a former gang leader from the southside of Chicago turned national speaker & educator. McKinney and his family moved from Chicago to Germany, where he was picked on due to being small, and after relocating to Davenport, Washington he was picked on for being black. He eventually ended up in Spokane in 2007, where he took up wrestling.

During high school McKinney was a standout wrestler, becoming a two-time WIAA state champion and a Fargo All-American in freestyle. In his senior year he considered skipping college wrestling to jump into MMA after being inspired by his wrestling coach who happened to be Michael Chiesa who had just won the first live season of The Ultimate Fighter.

McKinney went on to wrestle at North Idaho College, where he went 31–11 and was the top-ranked athlete during his first year in junior college. After a quick stint at NIC, he transferred to Chadron State College and redshirted. 

During the summer of 2015, McKinney was extremely intoxicated after heavily abusing LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, marjiauna and alcohol. The friends he was partying with called the police and left the scene. Once police found him covered in blood after cutting his neck with glass and experiencing excited delirium, McKinney was transported to the hospital.

In the ambulance, his heart beat stopped twice and medically died both times, though he was resuscitated eventually. In return to the police officers who saved his life, McKinney served as a leader for the Youth Police Initiative. 

McKinney was not kicked off the wrestling team and went on to be ranked as high as second in the nation in the NCAA Division II level,  before transferring to Notre Dame College and dropping out after one semester in order to pursue mixed martial arts full time.

After ending his college wrestling career, McKinney made his amateur MMA debut in August 2016, winning by knockout 15 seconds into the 1st round.

A year later, he would turn professional  and went on to  Dana White’s Contender Series 21 in July 2019, losing by knockout after a sloppy presentation to Sean Woodson, a hot prospect in the UFC featherweight division. After also losing his next fight to Darrick Minner, another UFC featherweight prospect, McKinney took time off, changed gyms, joined Warrior Camp with Coach Pablo Alfonso and came back in early 2021 in the lightweight division.

Racking up three knockouts in a row (two in the LFA) with a combined octagon time of less than 2 minutes in a span of 3 months, before signing with the UFC.

8 days after a first round knockout win in the headliner of LFA 109, McKinney made his debut against Matt Frevola on June 12, 2021, at UFC 263, replacing an injured Frank Camacho. Terrance won the fight by knockout 7 seconds into the first round, setting the record for the fastest finish in UFC lightweight history, and fastest debut in UFC history. 

On February 26, 2022, McKinney faced Farès Ziam earning a victory via rear-naked choke in the first. In a fourteen-day turnaround, McKinney stepped in short notice to take on Drew Dober on March 12, replacing an injured Ricky Glenn.

McKinney knocked down Dober twice within the opening minute, but ultimately lost the fight via technical knockout in round one.

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