It’s been decade since Court McGee made his way into the UFC.
Along the way, he has experienced nearly every high and low that the fight game has to offer. But there is one emotion that “The Crusher” had never felt until he was offered to throw down with former champion Carlos Condit – excitement.
“Technically I don’t think I’ve ever been excited for a fight…I don’t fight for excitement. I was born with the fight (in me) and I don’t like to call it fun because when I get into a fight it’s not fun, I’m not there to have fun, we’re not there to have fun; I’m there to fight and find a way to win, find a way to beat you in the 15 minutes that I have,” McGee told UFC.com. “But when I got the call to fight Carlos [Condit] it’s the first time in my entire career that I was like, ‘Awesome!’ I get an opportunity to fight a Carlos Condit, a legend in the sport and one of those guys that brings the fight.’”
On Saturday, October 3, on the UFC Fight Island 4 card, McGee will make his 16th walk to the Octagon, where he will look to put an end to a two-fight skid. One of the reasons that McGee believes he’s come out on the wrong end of quite a few decisions is that his opponents tend to be elusive and run from the fight.
McGee knows that won’t be the case with Condit, though, as he’s expecting fireworks.
“An all-out war. Half of my pictures I’m covered in blood because I bring it and I bring it every time,” McGee said. “You know I push it to the limit every time and I feel like even as a fan of Carlos Condit, he brings it, he pushes it, there’s no quit and he’s a gamer. It’s a perfect matchup for a fan.”
The reason that McGee makes sure that he always “brings it” is that each time he fights he gets to do something he is passionate about. Since overdosing on heroin in 2005, he promised himself to take every opportunity possible and to always live in the moment.
That desire to live each day to the fullest has taken the 35-year-old veteran across the world to UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and he’s determined to keep doing what he was born to do.
“September 9th, 2005 I overdosed on heroin; it was a fatal overdose, an accidental overdose. My life, I was given a second chance. So I take every opportunity. I love the preparation for fights, I love the fight itself; I have not lost the passion,” McGee said when reflecting on his journey. “But what I bring to the table is the experience of bad weight cuts, hard training camps, injuries before the fight, injuries in the fight, experiences with different training partners in different atmospheres and the travel and all that stuff. I look at it as it builds my confidence, no matter the opponent I face or where it’s at.
“I know that when the time comes and they say fight, I’ll be ready to go. I haven’t lost the passion. If anything, it’s invigorating and it makes you feel alive. I was born to do it.”
For McGee, a win over Condit would mean far more than getting back into the win column; it would be an opportunity for him to overcome adversity yet again.
“To get a victory on Saturday means success. It means overcoming adversity and the adversities of being stuck in quarantine and lots of people losing their jobs and all the issues; the substance abuse is through the roof. Being a person in long-term recovery I can show that I can make it through all of this training camp completely sober and I can step in there, fight and win, and remain completely sober. And show the world that if it’s possible for a guy from Utah to stay sober one day at a time and that they’ve got a shot.
“That’s success to me.”
Make sure you tune into UFC Fight Island 4 on ESPN+ to watch McGee and Condit go to battle. The prelims start at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT.
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