One of the greatest turn-offs in professional sports is the “me first” attitude that many of the athletes appear to have in every organization. We often see somebody who was once humble turn into somebody who puts themself on a pedestal just because they are able to have some success. We see it in every sport, and we see it in our daily lives as well.

Every now and then, we come across somebody who we can’t help to pull for. We find somebody who represents everything good about sport, and even more important, what’s good about life.

A great example of this is UFC welterweight fighter Court McGee.

You might be familiar with McGee’s remarkable story by now. The TUF 11 winner has literally come back from the dead to make a name for himself within MMA’s most prominent organization.

“If you would have told me seven years ago I’d be where I’m at today, I would have said no way,” McGee confessed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner.

Court McGee (R) (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

Seven years ago, McGee overdosed on heroin while living in a meth lab trailer. He was pronounced clinically dead, but was revived by paramedics arriving on scene and has since taken advantage of a second chance at life. Not a day goes by for McGee in which he isn’t keeping an eye or ear out for somebody who could thrive off of his inspirational story.

“The coolest thing is that I get to carry a message to people who struggle out there that there is a way out. If I can do it, they can do it. To be able to do that, and do something that I love in martial arts for the UFC, is an absolute honor,” McGee said. “The other bonus is that I can take care of my family, my wife and two sons. I think it’s just awesome.”

McGee, who trains under John Hackleman at The Pit in Arroyo Grande, Calif., and more often at The Pit Elevated in Orem, Utah, usually has the question of his past come up in interviews, but says it is something that he will always gladly talk about.

“If somebody can get some inspiration off of what I’ve done or what I’ve accomplished, I know it’s not super glamorous being strung out in a trailer, but there are people stuck in that lifestyle and don’t know they can make it out. If I can make it out, they can make it out. I’m just an average everyday guy.”

As down to earth and humble as McGee sounds on the phone, he’s also got that competitive fire that has driven him to a 13-3 professional record. Although he has lost his last two fights, most believe the judges took one from him at UFC 149 against Nick Ring. McGee appeared to have controlled that fight in Canada from start to finish, yet lost on each of the judges’ scorecards, 29-28.

“There’s highs and lows every day. As far as taking a loss, I don’t feel like I got beat. It’s just plain as that,” McGee explained. “It’s a bummer that I lost, and you miss out on money and opportunities, but I try not to dwell on the past. I just try and move forward and try to learn from mistakes and things like that. Where could I have done better, changed something, or just accepting the way it is, is kind of what I got to do.”

If there is anybody who can appreciate using the past as a building block for the future, it’s McGee.

“As a former addict and alcoholic, I have to live my life one day at a time. I have to keep on a steady path and make sure I’m of service to others. It does suck losing, man. It’s just one of those things, you can’t win it all,” stated McGee. “Don’t get me wrong, it can be a really low feeling of depression and things like that. You go through questioning my training, my coaches, what could I have done different. You do a little bit of that, but you gotta grow from it too and can’t dwell on it. If I was to sit and dwell on it, I wouldn’t go anywhere.”

Capturing the winning feeling that McGee experienced when he won his first UFC fight is something he continues to strive for within the Octagon.

“My first fight, that feeling I got after I won is very elusive. That feeling is like nothing else,” McGee admitted. “You can’t explain it unless you’ve done it. I’ve chased that a little bit. Winning The Ultimate Fighter was really a pivotal moment in my life.”

On Saturday night at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif., McGee will look to avoid the dreaded three-fight losing streak when he takes on a very formidable opponent in Josh Neer. Neer has also lost his last two fights, but has 46 career fights under his belt. Of those 46 fights, he has won 33 of them and finished an astonishing 88 percent of those wins via knockout or submission.

If there is one thing McGee is not concerned about, it’s the track record of Neer.

Court McGee (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

“I don’t worry about my opponents,” McGee explained. “I worry about myself. I focus on what I’m going to go and do. My intention is to go out there and push this Josh guy until he fucking breaks. That’s how I fight, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Most fighters will tell you that the most agonizing time frame before their fight is the week leading up to the event. For McGee, he sees that as another opportunity to scope out people to help.

“I can’t jump over three days and be looking at [the fight] and waste an opportunity to be of service to others,” he said.

The fight will mark McGee’s debut at 170 pounds. The former middleweight explains he first tried cutting down to 175 in camp and that it “was definitely harder than the one before.” Now, he feels the worst of the cut is behind him and he will be ready to go on Saturday night.

“Now that I committed to it and focused on getting my weight down for this camp, I felt pretty good. I’m weighing what I was cutting down to my last fight [185 pounds].”

When you talk about a fighter who is all about sending the right message to everyone he comes in contact with, you’re talking about Court McGee. He is a genuinely good person who aspires to be successful in the UFC in order to take care of his family, as well as to utilize the celebratory platform to share his story with as many people who will listen to it.

We’re listening, Court.

Court would like to thank Will and Heather Farrar, John Hackleman, Jason Mertlich, all his teammates at The Pit Elevated and The Pit headquarters in Arroyo Grande, Calif. Follow McGee on Twitter: @Court_McGee

Top Photo: Court McGee (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

About The Author

Joe Chacon
Staff Writer

Joe Chacon is a Southern California writer that has also spent time as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. Joe has a passion for the sport of MMA, as well as most other sports.