Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has once again paved the way for Court McGee to realize his dream of becoming a UFC star when he returns (finally) for a middleweight scrap opposite Dongi Yang in the upcoming "Battle on the Bayou" event on Saturday night (Sept. 17) in New Orleans.
McGee (13-1) successfully managed to beat out the competition on last year's Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 reality show, capping off his unlikely run with a submission win over Kris McCray at TUF 11 Finale in June 2010.
"The Crusher" entered the TUF house with quite an impressive resume, carrying a record of 8-1 with his only loss coming to storied veteran Jeremy Horn.
McGee's well-rounded game coupled with his sponge-like absorption of Team Liddell's coaching during the show did the Utah-bred fighter well. And with a considerable amount of time to take his game to yet another level since the end of the reality show competition, his days as an underdog my very well be over.
He proved that with a third round submission win over Ryan Jensen at UFC 121 last October, and wants to show fight fans in "The Big Easy" he hasn't lost a step, despite his lengthy layoff due to injury.
"I haven’t lost that drive," McGee told ESPN. "I’ve used that experience I had before [recovering from a knee injury] to help me prepare for this fight. And I have a certain level of comfort knowing that I’ve done this before. I know I can do it again as long as I have dedication, determination and perseverance. And I show up healthy. I am confident in my ability to compete with the best guys in the world. And I am proud that I am able to do that in the UFC."
Hoping to spoil his return is the once-beaten Yang (10-1), who rebounded from a split decision loss to Chris Camozzi at UFC 121: "Lesnar vs. Velasquez" to pound out Rob Kimmons at UFC on Versus 3 back in March.
"The Ox" has 10 wins and they're all finishes. Nine (T)KO's and one submission, for those of you keeping score at home. He's a dangerous Korean-based fighter who terrorized the International fight scene prior to making his UFC debut late last year.
We're going to find out if Court McGee is for real -- or just in real trouble at UFC Fight Night 25.
How do you see this one unfolding?