Combat Vision MMA spoke to former BAMMA champion Rhys “Skeletor” McKee after it was announced he would be fighting Richie Smullen in a Lonsdale No1 contender bout at BAMMA 30 in Dublin.
Rhys was asked about his thoughts on the fight being announced.
“I’m happy to get the fight announced to let people know it’s a fight people will be interested in. But, I’m not bothered about hype or that around the fight, it should be good. I’m just focusing on my preparation”
Looking at Rhys opponent Richie Smullen he heads into BAMMA 30 on a three fight win streak all inside the second round. Rhys was asked how he would tactically try and deflate Richie’s confidence early on in the fight.
“Yeah Richie is on a good roll. So was I, when we fought before at amateur, when I knew nothing about the game. So, I’m sure he will want to even the score, he is maybe a different fighter from then, I certainly am. But, I know, that you can build a sense of confidence that feels invincible, I have been there. I’m uber confident in all my fights, so as long as I’m confident, I’ll not worry too much about his feelings”
Combat Vision MMA asked Rhys how we would be approaching his training camp for BAMMA 30. Is there anything he will be working on specifically.
“Well I’m out here in Canada at TriStar working with some high level guys, numerous UFC fighters and high level pros. A lot of people will presume, I will be out here only doing leg locks. But, I’m a martial artist and I’m here to improve my whole game, I’m not preparing for a single fight, I’m preparing for my career. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we will run over stuff, but nothing obsessive”
After Rhys lost his BAMMA lightweight title to Tim Barnett at BAMMA 28. Does he view this fight as a road to redemption,
“I guess it kind of is a shot of redemption. I’m not to fussed on the whole contender thing, I feel I deserved my rematch, I had medical issues, but that’s none the less. I’m certain the rematch would be different, so I guess it is the way to get the rematch”
When the fight at BAMMA 30 comes around Rhys will be four months removed from his BAMMA lightweight title. How has Rhys dealt with the loss and has it taught him anything about himself as a fighter.
“I haven’t really took it as a loss. But, it has shown me who’s really on my team and who’s just there for the good times, so that part’s been kind of productive. I also probably learned not be a crowd pleaser, as I should of sat back before that fight and evaluated how I felt I could perform rather than to please the promotion and the people coming to watch”
Rhys was asked about the performance against Tim Barnett. If he were to fight Tim a second time would have strategically change anything in his approach next time around.
“I haven’t watched the fight if I’m being honest and I wouldn’t change a thing, I was winning the round up until the last 5 seconds and I firmly believe that wouldn’t happen again. I didn’t feel I was out of my depth in any stretch of the imagination. But, I can say that all day, for now my focus is on 7th July”