MMA fighter triumphs through tragedy


Andrew Deger

Terrance McKinney is a 27-year-old athlete out of Spokane Washington. While many may see the sport of mixed martial arts as odd, it is essentially just a combination of multiple martial arts which include boxing, jiu-jitsu, karate, and wrestling just to name some. McKinney’s route to becoming an athlete competing in the top promotion of MMA was unconventional, to say the least. McKinney was kind enough to take some time to tell us about his story. It is important for young journalists to realize that there are athletes and influencers who are more than willing to contribute to helping you write a story. 

McKinney’s first passion in sports was basketball, a sport he still loves to watch, the Charlotte Hornets being his favorite team currently to watch. McKinney realized eventually that the sport he was the best at was wrestling. 

While in college McKinney’s life changed forever when he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. When confronted by police, a struggle ensued and he was tased multiple times.  McKinney was considered clinically dead twice while fighting for his life on the way to the hospital. After this event, McKinney transitioned into taking the sport of MMA as his lifeline and passion. 

Even after this event, there were still bumps in the road. On July 23, 2019, McKinney lost to Sean Woodson, a fight that could have gotten him a job in the UFC if he would have won. This didn’t deter McKinney though as he continued to push forward. After a record of 3-1, including 3 straight wins all in the first round,  McKinney was called into his UFC debut on a short notice bout with Matt Frevola at UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona.

This was the moment for Mckinney to break through. McKinney states how he and his team envisioned the fight beforehand. They knew that the one, two’ punch would be open early on in the fight. McKinney, who trains out of Warrior Camp in Spokane, Washington, credits his team for his success. The bout would go just as planned as  McKinney won the fight in 7 seconds, which also broke a record as the fastest finish in UFC lightweight history, as well as the 3rd fastest in UFC history.

McKinney’s next bout is coming up this year. He will take on Fares Ziam at UFC Fight Night 202 in Las Vegas Nevada on February 26th, 2022

McKinney is a serious contender in the UFC’s lightweight division. The world knows that  McKinney is extremely gifted and is motivated to achieve his goals. The sky’s the limit for  McKinney as he looks to build on his momentum. Athletes like McKinney are more similar to us than we think: I had the pleasure of getting to know McKinney more as I asked him a few questions about his athletic career as well as his interests. As a closing note, we can all learn that in our daily lives regardless of the fact of the situation that we find ourselves in we can succeed. McKinney being pronounced dead twice and then performing on the biggest stage in his sport serves as an inspiration to many.