Terrance “T-Wrecks” McKinney, 28, is quickly becoming folklore in the UFC. His fighting style, which has either resulted in flash first-round finishes; or, even in a loss, possibly the best single round of 2022, has made him must-watch television. Ismael “Marreta” Bonfim, older brother of the other Bonfim brother fighting on this card, is making his debut following a decision in on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2022.
The pick’em odds illustrate just how close, and likely fun, this fight will be.
- McKinney: -125
- Bonfim: +105
McKinney fights like the world is going to end unless he finishes his opponent in under 5 minutes; he nearly sprints across the octagon and starts to throw bombs from the opening seconds. McKinney’s striking is steeped in athleticism, pressure, and legitimate power. He is not the prettiest to watch; but, he deals out severe damage and does not take his foot off the gas pedal. Because he is such a hyper athlete with hyper power, McKinney has been able to overcome his striking skill gaps through outworking and outlanding opponents. If someone isn’t ready to fight from the opening seconds, they’re likely going to sleep. What makes McKinney an actual prospect compared to a fun but limited fighter is his wrestling. Prior to the UFC, McKinney was a NJCAA wrestler. Just like his striking, McKinney’s wrestling is built on a foundation of speed, power, and athleticism. He is able to explode into power takedowns or grind guys down from the clinch. In either case, McKinney has impressively shown an ability to get the fight to the mat and keep it there while feverishly hunting the finish. High-end wrestlers, like McKinney, are able to land ground and pound or look for submissions while still maintaining top pressure. Opponents have to defend finishes while also attempting to get back to their feet, a feat that is easier said than done.
Offensively, McKinney is equally devastating on the feet and the mat; he’s the ultimate “don’t blink” type of fighter. However, as shown against his round-of-the-year fight with Dober, McKinney can gas out and leave his chin exposed. I don’t think McKinney has a bad gas tank; rather, he uses 15 minutes of cardio in the first 5 minutes of the fight. His approach is a high-risk, high-reward style; but, no matter the outcome, it’s a fight you won’t want to miss.
Both Bonfim brothers are prospects who are expected to be on the fast track in the UFC. Ismael, fighting in this bout, is an explosive counterpuncher with smooth stance-switching footwork and real heat in his combinations. Bonfim’s combination boxing and vision are impressive and indicate a high skill level that amplifies his natural power. Early on, he lands to the body heavily and often, showcasing his pristine shot placement and tactical vision. Bonfim is also willing to get into a 50/50 exchange because he often has the edge in striking speed, power, and chin strength. Said simply, the kid can throw.
His defense can be rigid early as Bonfim works his way into a rhythm; but, once he’s fully into the fight, Bonfim is a flowy defensive striker who can use footwork and head movement to evade strikes and counter cleanly. The real question in Bonfim’s game is his defensive grappling. He has solid takedown defense but it’s more based on natural strength and size compared to fundamentals. So, accredited wrestlers have been able to get him down. Once down, Bonfim struggles to safely get back to his feet; he’s been submitted in all 3 of his losses. As Bonfim matures and grows, if he can sure up his grappling defense then he can go far in the division. He is a skilled, strong, athletic, and powerful striker who knows how to find the chin after working the body. He just has to keep the fight upright.
Prediction and Betting Guide
If it weren’t for the main and co-main events, this fight would likely be the favorite for fight of the night. McKinney doesn’t know how to be in anything besides a blitz fire-fight, and Bonfim’s counter striking and size match McKinney well. This one boils down to McKinney’s fight IQ. He is more than capable of getting Bonfim to the mat and grinding him out or even finding a submission. But, if McKinney has shown us anything, it’s that he loves a good brawl. In a brawl, Bonfim becomes more and more likely to win with each minute that passes. I think the pick’em odds are well set, but I am going with McKinney in this one. His power is special, his style is unlike anything Bonfim has faced before, and his wrestling is a clear path to victory. I like “T-Wrecks” to wreck the debut of a promising young prospect.
Pick: Terrance McKinney to win (-125)