The life of Court McGee has been well documented in the media. It nearly came to an end after a heroine overdose. He was declared clinically dead.
McGee was full of life Saturday night at the Ultimate Finale, dominating Kris McCray on his way to winning the six-figure contract that comes with winning Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show.
He nearly broke down during the post-fight interview, obviously realizing how his life has changed and how it's about to change, and how far he has come from a morning in which he woke up 1,000 miles from his home with no pants and no recollection of how he got there, as he told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole.
It’s not surprising that McGee took advantage of a second opportunity on the reality show after doing the same thing with his entire life. He dropped a controversial decision to Nick Ring in the preliminary round of fights on the show, but stepped in when Rich Attonito dropped out before the quarterfinals with a broken hand.
Submission victories over James Hammortree and Brad Tavares put McGee in the finals. His striking was crisp and he repeatedly took McCray down and held dominant positions. In the final minutes of the second round he was finally able to capitalize and locked in a rear naked choke that forced McCray to tap.
“I want to dedicate this fight to anybody who‘s struggling today,” he said. “I love you all.”
The victory for McGee is the 10th of his career, and far and away, the most important. Winning the Ultimate Fighter doesn't guarantee stardom or even success in the UFC, but it’s a great way to begin a career and let people know that you’re for real.
For McGee, the victory not only jumpstarts his fighting career in the biggest MMA organization in the world, but also it culminates a journey in life that began well before this season of the Ultimate Fighter started filming.
“I know what it’s like man, I know what people go through,” he said during a post fight interview on UFC.com. “And I made it out.”