On the 13th of March, a particularly intriguing lightweight matchup takes place on the main card of UFC Vegas 50.
UFC Vegas 50 Preview – Drew Dober vs. Terrance McKinney
Drew Dober, at one time a highly touted lightweight prospect currently in the middle of a 2 fight losing streak, takes on Terrance McKinney, who in his short tenure with the UFC has already claimed two first-round finishes, one of which became the second-fastest KO finish in UFC history.
Terrance McKinney has proven KO power, securing first-round knockout finishes in four of his last five fights. The fifth was another first-round finish, where McKinney showcased some excellent grappling chops, working his way into the rear-naked choke through patience and technique. With such phenomenal punching ability, it would be easy, understandable even, for McKinney to rely entirely on his stand up ability. His last victory proves his capability in every facet of mixed martial arts competition, making the approach from a prospective opponent a lot less simple than simply taking him down to mitigate his power.
Drew Dober is in a very interesting position. He is only 33 years of age, in the middle of his athletic prime, and a UFC veteran, competing under the promotional banner 17 times. In this time, he has amassed a record of 9-7 with one No-Contest. Currently on a 2 fight losing streak, Dober is not presenting the UFC with a lot of reason to keep him around. He has been ranked before, but his current ceiling seems to be the fringes of the top 15.
Stylistic Comparisons and Breakdown
The opponent closest to McKinney’s fighting style is perhaps Alexander Hernandez, who Dober scored a dominant second-round TKO victory over back in 2020. McKinney is still very fresh in the game and has never fought someone as battle-tested as Dober.
Drew Dober tends to rely too much on his natural athleticism, eschewing some of the more fundamental and basic techniques in favor of a more instinctual approach. Even when he beat Hernandez, a lot of the punches Dober threw in the closing sequence were looping, chin exposed. A more composed counter striker could have taken advantage of several of these opportunities, though it was enough to best Hernandez. Against someone who hits as hard as McKinney, this could potentially be a gigantic problem for Dober, and a technical flaw he would be wise to not let surface.
With such a great equalizer in his back pocket, McKinney is certainly not out of his depth, but he has only ever seen a second-round inside a winning effort once in his career. Drew Dober has seen the full fifteen on six separate occasions, winning on the scorecards in half of those bouts. Dober is a well-rounded athlete, battle-tested and proven, staring down the barrel of a heavy-handed prospect with all the hype in the world. This is experience and composure versus a tornado, and certainly a highly compelling matchup.