Court McGee has no time to wallow in self-pity, even though he feels he won his UFC 149 bout with fellow “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum Nick Ring. The judges saw it differently, awarding Ring a unanimous decision and handing McGee his second consecutive defeat.
The loss still stings for the 27-year-old father of two.
“I felt I won the fight,” McGee told Sherdog.com. “I felt like I had cage control, was more aggressive, out-struck him and attempted a submission in the third round. I should not have left it in the hands of the judges and finished the fight.”
McGee admits he learned a valuable lesson or two.
“Do not let outside issues influence the fight,” he said, “and it’s imperative that I stay focused on improving no matter what.”
McGee rose to prominence in 2010 when he won Season 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. He won his first three fights inside the Octagon, submitting Kris McCray and Ryan Jensen before outpointing South Korean import Dongi Yang. Back-to-back losses to Constantinos Philippou and Ring have followed, leaving McGee in a somewhat precarious position in the 185-pound division.
“There’s always pressure to win,” he said. “Nobody competes in this sport to lose. Yes, there’s added pressure [now that I have lost my last two fights], but extreme pressure can turn coal into a diamond.”
As an “Ultimate Fighter” winner, McGee finds himself under heightened scrutiny.
“The spotlight is definitely on you, but it’s the UFC,” he said. “There’s pressure whether you come from the show or just sign a deal from elsewhere.”
A recovering drug addict who was once pronounced clinically dead following an overdose, McGee was profiled on a recent edition of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.” Despite recent setbacks in the cage, McGee plans to move forward under the direction of longtime Chuck Liddell mentor John Hackleman and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jason Mertlich.
“I’m improving,” McGee said. “I’ve had the opportunity to be trained by some of the best coaches in the world and train with some of the best training partners in the world. My motto is progress, not perfection.”