Court McGee: Can He Become a Player in the Welterweight Division?

Dale De SouzaAnalyst IDecember 28, 2012

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03:  Court McGee of the USA bleeds from his ear during the UFC On FX light middleweight bout between Court McGee and Constantinos Philippou at Allphones Arena on March 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

To those who saw UFC 149's prelims on FX, Court McGee found himself robbed of a decision he earned at Nick Ring's expense. It happened on The Ultimate Fighter 11 before McGee came back to win the season, but nobody thought Ring would walk out the winner in the rematch.

Alas, Ring did, so now McGee aims to relocate to welterweight for a UFC 158 battle with veteran Josh Neer. Neer gets referred to by some as "the third Diaz brother" because he brings a direct offense to his opponents in a style not too different from that of Nick or Nate Diaz.

In other words, when someone signs to fight Neer, Neer will look to fight them. He will look to do the same with McGee, but McGee will not back down from this challenge. The Pit Elevated fighter will look to implement his boxing, ground game and takedown regiment in his attempt to stop Neer.

So if he proves successful in his attempts to stop Neer, even if only by way of a decision victory, does that translate to becoming a player in the welterweight division?

Whether or not a win over Neer makes McGee a player in the welterweight division depends on what he does to capitalize on the moment.

He can definitely find a way to become a player, but the long line of welterweights looking to give Georges St-Pierre a reason to pay them some attention might cause fans, experts and even the champion himself to take some time to notice the waves that McGee plans to make.

As the past proves, however, the bigger the waves made in the division, the more attention one can draw to themselves as they aim for their shot at the gold.

With time, McGee can make those waves and attract a high level of attention to himself. But before he can get the opportunity to do that, he must first beat Neer at UFC 157.

While Neer does not represent the end-all, be-all of the division, a loss to McGee will force "The Crusher" back against a wall, meaning that he may need a win just to stay in the promotion.

Thus, a win for McGee in his welterweight debut proves something of high significance to his ultimate goal of becoming a player in the welterweight division for the long haul.