Rhys McKee ahead of Barnett rematch “I made a simple schoolboy error the first time”

Former Lonsdale BAMMA lightweight champion Rhys “Skeletor” McKee makes the trip to Wembley in London this Friday night in a bid to reclaim the full version of the BAMMA 155lbs crown, in a rematch with Scouse striker Tim Barnett.

Ballymena native McKee first faced Barnett in his premier defence of his Lonsdale title back at BAMMA 28 in early 2017, losing in comprehensive fashion via a dramatic first round stoppage.

Speaking with Talking Brawls host Niall McGrath recently, a hugely confident McKee declared his intentions on Friday, eyeing a return to Northern Ireland with the championship.

“That title’s coming home with me, it’s all mine on the 9th of March, I’m confident in my ability. Everything’s been smooth, a few weeks off then straight back into a fight camp in December. This is the fight I wanted.”

The Next Generation Northern Ireland product returned to the win column in late December last year, picking up a second round submission over France’s Kams Ekpo after a majority draw with SBGi prospect Richie Smullen.

“It was nice to do that to Kams under the bright lights. For me, that was a huge relief. I knew when he tapped, I was like, we’re back.

“I made a simple schoolboy error the first time against Tim. I know how to prepare correctly now, I can wrestle and grapple with the best of them, I’m not a one dimensional striker. I have the higher momentum heading into this fight, whether it will play psychologically who knows?

“My mental mind will not be challenged in there. Tim hasn’t competed since May, he was also unsuccessful in The Ultimate Fighter. Richie Smullen made it.

Tim Barnett was slated to defend his Lonsdale title at BAMMA 32 against the aforementioned Smullen, until the bout was unfortunately cancelled back in November 2017.

BAMMA 34 takes place this Friday 9th of March and will also see French welterweight gold holder Alex “DaKid” Lohore attempting to defend his title against Britain’s Terry Brazier in the curtain closer, while in the night’s co-headliner heavyweights Chi Lewis-Parry and Cypriot Stav Economou will meet with the championship up for grabs.

You can listen to the full interview with Rhys McKee from Talking Brawls below:

  • Rhys McKee joins the show at approx 26 minutes in