Unfortunately for him, McCray came out with the win. I had thought that Kyacey would leave if he lost, but he didn’t. He trucked it out.
All the quarterfinalists were then taken into the office to meet with UFC President Dana White and were asked who we wanted to fight. In the back of my mind, I wanted to rematch Nick Ring and I wanted to get that third round back. I asked, however, if I could be matched up with McCray or Jamie Yager, mainly because I had already fought Seth Baczynski and Ring. But sure enough, I was rematched with Nick. I felt confident in my ability and wanted to step it up and finish what I had started. I was very excited to fight Nick again, only this time, I would not leave it in the hands of the judges.
About a day later, Dana walked in and took Nick Ring out in the back to talk to him for a few minutes. Everybody was chitchatting and the majority of us had no idea what it was about. When Dana and Nick came in, they broke the news that Nick couldn’t continue. I felt horrible for him. To train that hard and compete for 10 or so years, make it this far, then have your body give out. That’s f---in reality.
Hammortree stepped up and that’s who I’d be facing: a big, strong athletic guy that was pretty well-rounded. S--t, it sounded good to me. It didn’t matter who they put in front of me: Nick Ring, James Hammortree, Godzilla. This time I was going to fight and finish whoever they put in front of me.
Saturday came and it was on the day of a UFC pay-per-view. It was unreal watching the UFC fights knowing that the world would eventually be watching us, watching the UFC fights. This was one of the few occasions we got to watch television.
Season one winner Forrest Griffin skulked in the door and unveiled the new UFC video game. It was rainy outside and he had a creepy trench coat on (Rich Attonito) and a scraggly beard (just like mine). Forrest is a large, goofy man and he’s awesome. We all had some questions about his experience in the house. He said it sucked and that it was very long. Some of the producers told us the first season lasted about three months back then. They didn’t really know what they were doing because it was the first time. It was a nice break to just sit and bulls--- with Forrest. He’s really an awesome dude.
It just so happens that my next fight fell on Feb. 24, which is my Dad’s birthday. I dedicated my fight to my dad, since I couldn’t buy him a gift. Buying a gift for my dad is really hard. First of all, I absolutely hate shopping. Second, my dad leads a modest life. For example, he drinks beer, he has a nice pocket knife, he has more than enough flashlights, plenty of duct tape, a good lawn mower, a camp trailer, an old ass fishing pole, two vehicles that are paid for, a house that’s paid for, and a wonderful wife (my mom, Noel). My dad has always been really supportive of my career choice. So I figured, me winning would be a great gift. I got to tell him happy birthday…eventually.
I fought smart and I fought to finish. When I had the opportunity, I took full advantage of it. Hammortree took the shot and gave up his neck. I threw on the guillotine, turned him into the cage and cranked down on him. I felt his body go somewhat limp and a light tap on the right side of my body. It was over. I had won my quarterfinal match. I was now a semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter.” I never would have guessed some three years ago, training in a small gym with a bunch of my friends, that here and now I would be a semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter,” in a somewhat small setting, but really in front of millions of loyal fans. What a fu--ing honor. I wouldn’t have rather been anywhere else in the world at that time.
Winning was very gratifying. I learned at a young age that if I worked hard and never gave up, anything was possible. My career is the anything; my dream was to be successful. When I made up my mind to become an MMA fighter there was no doubt in my mind that I would make it. I have worked hard and will never give up.
To find out more information about Court McGee, visit his Web site at www.courtmcgee.net and follow him on Twitter Twitter