Las Vegas – Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Cory “The Hobbit” McKenna.
Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 2 which features a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster. The second episode of season four takes place on Tuesday, August 11 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US.
NAME: Cory McKenna
NICKNAME: Cory “The Hobbit” McKenna
WEIGHT CLASS: Strawweight
AGE: 20 years old – 11/7/99
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-3, 115
LEG REACH: –
BIRTHPLACE: Cwmbran, Wales
FIGHTING OUT OF: Cwmbran, Wales
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: English
TRAINER: Jack Mason / Urijah Faber / Team Alpha Male / BKK Fighters
TRAINING: I train three times a day, six days a week – incorporating each discipline, as well as
supplementary strength and conditioning; with a Sunday entailing some form of active rest.
PROFESSIONAL MMA RECORD: 4-1
Thoughts on opponent, Vanessa Demopoulos? Vanessa is a very skilled professional and, given her current LFA world champion status and nationally recognized Jiu-Jitsu accomplishments, it should be a tough match; I am really excited about this matchup stylistically and can’t wait to showcase my skills.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training martial arts at the age of 10 as a competitive hobby, advancing from one discipline to the next until, at 13, I began training MMA as a whole. By 15 I had my first MMA fight and already held multiple titles in other disciplines; I haven’t been interested in anything else since.
What ranks and titles have you held? I am ranked #3 P4P in UK and Ireland on Tapology. Purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu
Do you have any heroes? My heroes are very much the fighters and coaches I am surrounded by at Team Alpha Male and BKK, as I am constantly inspired by not only their performances but also the hard work they put into themselves and those around them. If I were to name my two biggest heroes/inspirations, it would have to be Jack Mason and Urijah Faber – not just for their fight accomplishments but also for their work ethic and mindset.
What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? The UFC is and will always be deemed the pinnacle of MMA – naturally, it would mean the world for me to get the opportunity to step in the Octagon and showcase my skills against the highest level of opposition. I have the utmost confidence that it will happen eventually; I intend not only to fight for the UFC but to prove that I will be their future champion.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I did not go to higher education; by the end of high school I knew, without doubt, that fighting was all I wished to pursue. And therefore, at 15 I became a full- time athlete.
What was your job before you started fighting? I have never had what would be perceived to be a ‘normal’ job – I used to coach a few kids classes after leaving school to help fund my fulltime lifestyle.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? I went 7-0 as an amateur from age 15-18; I was the amateur champion at 115lb and 125lb, beating IMMAF World medalists in the process (due to wanting to test myself against the highest level available and being too young to actually participate in the tournaments). I also held multiple British/English titles in BJJ and Muay Thai over my years of training.
Favorite grappling technique: Any form of choke; I love a D’Arce choke, rear naked choke and bulldog choke
Favorite Striking technique: Boxing combos
Twitter account name: @corymckenna99
Facebook account: Cory Mckenna
Instagram account: @corymckenna99
OTHER KEY POINTS:
- Pro since 2018
- Two wins by KO, one by submission (RNC)
- Two first round finishes
- On two fight winning streak
- Origin of nickname: “From the team at my first MMA gym, BKK.”
Q&A Courtesy of the UFC
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.