Gotta say that I’m really very happy with the outcome here. I’ve said it several times during my reviews of the season, but I’ve always been impressed with Court McGee, despite his loss to Nick Ring, and I have never been too impressed with Kris McCray.
McGee has always shown that he has awesome striking, wrestling, BJJ skills and cardio throughout his fights, but McCray always seemed too one dimensional for me. The only thing he ever did was to wrestle and clinch his opponents and control them off the ground, and frequently performed what some would term “lay and pray”. In other words, control your opponent on the ground the majority of the fight and win on points. Literally the most boring, yet still effective, tactic in all of MMA. I’ve always mentioned this before, though, but I feel that McCray doesn’t do this on purpose. His primary fighting base is wrestling, so he falls back on that throughout much of his time in the Octagon. Unfortunately, he’s also not that experienced in the game, so his arsenal’s currently very limited, plus his primary weakness, his cardio, always gets the better of him, so he winds up laying dormant for periods in his fights.
What does impress me the most out of him, though, is his hard work, diligence, and heart. He fought five times during his six weeks on The Ultimate Fighter, and that’s just insane. At first I thought that his lack of cardio was directly caused by his experiences within the TUF establishment. Coupled with Tito’s “Punishment” training and fighting pretty much every week, it was no wonder that he would gas out during a lot of his matches. The finale pretty much debunked that theory of mine. McCray was clearly very tired at the start of the second round, while his opponent, Court McGee, seemed totally calm and collected.
The first round of the fight was pretty much what you would expect of Kris McCray: a lot of clinching and wrestling. What was interesting, though, was that McGee was beating McCray at his own game a lot of the time! So much so that I personally thought that McGee won that first round. McCray comes out very tired in the second round, and Court gets the rear naked choke on him. An awesome win for what I believe is a fantastic fighter with all the potential in the world! I can’t wait to watch him develop as a fully well rounded fighter in the UFC. Congratulations, Court. You stared depression in the face, spat on it, and turned your life completely around. You got what many fighters in the world only dream about and you did it through your own blood, sweat, and tears. And that is just bloody awesome.
Check out the official UFC website for more amazing photos of The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale!