Dongi “The Ox” Yang may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of contenders in the UFC’s middleweight division, but the South Korean is out to change that.  In his path stands The Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee.  The pair will battle on the main card of Ultimate Fight Night 25 on Sept. 17 from New Orleans.

“I feel like I matchup pretty well against McGee. I’ve had a great camp and I’m feeling really good going into the fight,” Yang told The MMA Corner.

Yang’s biggest weapon is his ground-and-pound, which the judo black belt has used to finish nine of his 11 bouts.  However, the Deep and Sengoku veteran was not shy about how he’d like the fight to go.

Dongi Yang (R) battles Chris Camozzi (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

“I like to stand and bang, so I certainly wouldn’t mind keeping the fight standing,” acknowledged Yang.  “(At the same time) I’m more than comfortable if it goes to the ground.  In mixed martial arts, a fighter’s base is important, but you can’t always make a fight go exactly the way you want.”

So how does the fighter think the fight will go?

“I think I’m going to win… And look good doing it,” Yang declared.  “It won’t be easy, since Court’s a tough guy, but I’m confident about the outcome.”

A win over McGee would put Yang on the map, something the Korean views as a big boost to his career.

“McGee is pretty well known after winning TUF season 11,” said Yang.  “Since it will also be my first fight on the main card of a UFC event, a victory would establish my name in the division.”

The attitude that Yang exhibits comes in large part from picking up his first UFC win over hard-nosed veteran Rob Kimmons in March.  Kimmons was overwhelmed by Yang in the second as “The Ox” scored a TKO victory.

The fight was a contrast to Yang’s promotional debut, which saw him drop a split decision to Chris Camozzi at UFC 121.  The loss was the first of Yang’s career.

Despite the result, Yang is not set on avenging the loss, “I don’t really have a burning desire to fight Camozzi again, to be honest with you. But if it happened, it would be nice to settle the score.”

Dongi Yang (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

In his two UFC bouts, Yang has had to adjust to the difference between fighting in Asia and fighting in North America.

“One of the challenges of fighting in the UFC is the size of the Octagon,” Yang admitted.  “It’s much bigger than a ring, so stamina is something I’ve been working on. Also, since wrestling is so dominant in American MMA, I’ve been working a lot on that as well.”

Other than working on his stamina and getting used to the Octagon, the Korean Top Team fighter believes he is largely the same combatant he was before the UFC.  His goals go far beyond just becoming a name in the division.

“My number one goal in life is to be the world champion,” stated Yang.  “Being the UFC champ is being the world champion, so that’s what I’m ultimately shooting for. It would be a huge boost for Korean MMA, too.”

A win over McGee in New Orleans would be a huge step toward establishing his name in the division and put him one step closer to achieving his goals.

Large Photo: Dongi Yang (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)