Keith Hackney started training martial arts at the age 11 by learning wrestling, boxing and tang soo do. Two years later he began learning the art of taekwondo and eventually received a second-degree black belt. In 1990, he furthered his martial arts training by beginning to train White Tiger Kenpo Karate.
In 1994, Hackney was contacted by Art Davie for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was slated to compete at the UFC 3 tournament, where he entered as an alternate to one of the original players. In his first match, Hackney faced 616-pound sumo champion Emmanuel Yarborough, but he overcame the size difference by attacking fast and aggressively, knocking Yarborough down with a palm strike. Yarborough got up and pushed Hackney through the cage door, but once the fight was restarted, Keith followed with a flurry of punches to the top and back of the head, making the referee stop the fight. Hackney left the cage with an injured wrist, however, and was forced to abandon the tournament.
Hackney returned at UFC 4, where he faced Joe Son in a fight made infamous by the UFC rule from the time which allowed groin strikes. Keith was taken down and endangered with a guillotine choke, but he resorted to punching repeatedly Son’s groin in order to make him release the hold. After several blows, Hackney could reposition over Son, and he then dug his fingers in his opponent’s carotid artery in a form of blood choke, making him tap out. The Kenpo practitioner advanced in the tournament, going to face UFC 1 and 2 winner Royce Gracie in the next round.
Pitted against Royce, Hackney managed to resist some initial takedowns, even getting a clean sprawl in an instance, and landed multiple shots through the attempts. After exchanging knees, Gracie pulled guard and attempted a triangle choke, only for Hackney to stand and land a right hand which marked Royce’s face. At the end, however, Royce got the armbar and made him tap out.
His last MMA fight would be at the event Ultimate Ultimate 1995, where he fought Marco Ruas in a losing effort.
Where is he now?
Keith is a trainer of fighters for the UFC, IFL, King of the Cage, and numerous other MMA shows.