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In the Lightweight division, we have a clash between Terrance “T.Wrecks” McKinney and Fares “Smile Killer” Ziam. After a sensational UFC debut, in which came on short notice and ended in a seven second knockout victory, McKinney returns to the octagon with high expectations. Known for his power, McKinney has won four straight fights via knockout in the opening round. In fact, in those four fights, McKinney spent a total of 112 seconds in the cage. Meanwhile, Ziam comes into this fight on a two-fight win streak. Most recently, Ziam defeated Luigi Vendramini by majority decision. A fight that Ziam outpointed Vendramini for two rounds, and then survived a mauling in round three to hold on for his second UFC victory.

This should be an interesting fight, and one that should last more than the seven seconds McKinney’s debut lasted. A well rounded fighter, McKinney has more often than not, been getting the job done via his hands. With four consecutive knockouts, three of which have lasted seventeen seconds or less, McKinney is becoming a feared man to stand across from. However, Ziam is a tough challenge. Not only is he defensively sound, but a patient striker. Landing a mere 2.13 significant strikes per minute, Ziam takes his time and looks to pick apart opponents from distance. The one problem Ziam has shown vulnerability to, is being taken down. Given McKinney has some wrestling chops, it will be interesting to see if he mixes in some takedowns with his striking.

As for a prediction, I have McKinney winning. While Ziam has done a good job outpointing foes, his low output isn’t exactly a great quality. Having little to no urgency, and lacking the volume necessary to discourage opponents, Ziam is a ticking time bomb to be beaten. Throw in his iffy takedown defense and I feel there are several ways for McKinney to win. As long as McKinney doesn’t get too wild on the feet or gas himself out, I believe he will get the job done. So with all that said, I predict that McKinney wins via TKO. 

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