TUF Sherblog: ‘The Good News is There’s Not That Much Bad News’

By Court McGee Apr 15, 2010
Immediately following our first team victory, we all went back to the locker room and celebrated. Everyone was stoked for getting the first win of the prelims, especially our coach Chuck. Then, it was straight to 6:00 p.m. practice.

John Hackleman, Chuck’s head coach, has these corny one-liners he says all the time. For example, he says, “I got some good news and some bad news, the good news is there’s not that much bad news… but the little bit of bad news is that Chuck wants you to practice hard and be in the best shape you can.”

This actually isn’t bad news because that’s why we’re there, but it’s still funny as s--t to hear Hackleman say it.

By this time, we’d been here for over a week and I’d noticed some team separation. Tito’s team wasn’t getting along very well, and it seemed that Chuck’s team was bonding and practicing well. We were having a team dinner one night and Tito’s team came home from practice arguing and pi--ed off at each other. I guess, Jamie Yager and Nick Ring had some confrontation during a sparring session. The argument was about somebody losing control and going too hard, like they were trying to prove something. The bad thing about that is people can get hurt, cut, or knocked out. In this particular situation, there’s a lot on the line, like a six-figure contract. So, it’s good to have control and good coaches to regulate how hard everybody’s going.

Chris Camozzi got booted during the prelims because he had a fractured jaw. It made me think of how easy it was to get sent home. It was hard to hold back in practice. You wanted to put everything in to sparring and training, but the bad thing with that is you increase the chances of getting injured. It was a scary thought that I could go home before I had the chance to fight. I felt bad for Chris and so did everybody else. I hate to say it, but the feeling I also had was “better him than me.”

Everyone’s personalities continued to come out. I noticed Kris McCray, Jamie Yager, and Brad Tavares were the noisy ones. Kyle Noke was becoming one of them as well, just not quite as boisterous. Clayton McKinney seemed on edge, but was a good cook.

Nick Ring acted feminine on purpose, which was some funny s--t. I was named after my gay uncle’s partner’s dad Courtney, so that type of s--t doesn’t bother me. Some of the other guys were acting homophobic, though, and I’m sure that’s what Nick was going for. It was hilarious.

Then there was Neuromuscular Charlie. He had some schooling on neuromuscular therapy, so he was helping people with their muscular injuries. Joe Henle -- there are no words to explain this guy. I woke up one morning and he was just standing there naked. Junk and all. I just covered my head back up under the covers along with all my other roommates. Joe’s a good dude, just not naked. He said he used to be over 300 pounds; you could tell he was proud of his weight loss.

We also called him Jesus. One morning, I woke up to Seth Baczynski saying, “Oh lord, it’s baby Jesus hangin out!” I was glad they brought Baczynski back, he was a funny dude.

The next matchup made was Brad Tavares against James Hammortree. At that time, all I knew about Hammortree was that he was strong, athletic, pretty well-rounded, and had a heavy right hand. He acted pretty confident, but not overly cocky. Liddell’s team thought Tavares would out-strike him and win. It turns out it was a three-round war and really close on the scorecards.

Liddell’s team thought that Tito’s team was possibly over-training. At this time, it seemed that the best plan was to maintain and not over-do things. There was the possibility you could fight four to five times in six weeks. I know Liddell and his coaches kept that in the back of their minds. Our practices were hard, but planned smart. Every one of our practices, so far, had had a lot of purpose. It seemed that they were not trying to change our game, but critique small, technical flaws -- which was brilliant. Now, when you got picked to fight, made weight, and stepped in the cage could you put it all together? That was the question.

After the Tavares-Hammortree fight, it seemed the morale on Tito’s team was a little down. Tito and some of the guys on his team had thought Hammortree. I felt it could’ve went either way and Brad was happy with the win, but not happy with his performance. He felt like he had made a lot of mistakes.

It soon became apparent that I’d definitely be a part of this reality television show. The main thing that stuck out in my mind was Dana White’s quote right next to the front doors of the house: “Do you want to be a fu--ing fighter?!”

Yes, I do, but it’s easy to think fighting equals fortune and fame looking in from the outside. That’s a great thought, but that’s not really how it is for me. Multiple injuries, grilling workouts, very little to no money, and four thousand hours later, here I am in front of the world.

Still, I DO want to be a fu--ing fighter!

To find out more about Court McGee, visit www.courtmcgee.net
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