3 Reasons to Root for Court McGee at UFC 157
While the stat that jumps out at you the most is the fact that Neer has had 46 professional fights compared to McGee's 16, this is truly a fight of stylistic differences which could be a dark horse for one of the most competitive fights of the night.
There are a few rules when it comes to being a writer for a particular sport. One of those rules is you're not really supposed to cheer for a fighter. Of course, every now and then, we falter and our true colors shine through.
Here are three reasons why you should pull for Court McGee this Saturday night.
3. Court Was Screwed by the Judges in Canada
Court McGee put on a good performance in his last fight at UFC 149. On that night, he fought Nick Ring and looked to have controlled the action for most of the fight.
As McGee and Ring came to the center of the Octagon for the decision, I remember taking the trash out knowing McGee had wrapped up the win. When I came back into the house, I was floored to hear Ring talking about how he did enough for the win.
Not only did McGee get robbed, but he was given the 28-29 score by all three judges. In my opinion it wasn't even close. McGee was more successful standing up, on the ground and everywhere in between.
I'd hate for McGee to lose this fight to Neer and be on the hook for the dreaded three-fight losing streak, even though he really did beat Ring.
2. Maintain The Pit's Place Inside the UFC
There is something nostalgic about seeing The Pit's logo on the shorts of fighters inside the Octagon.
Chuck Liddell made The Pit synonymous with the UFC during the time he dominated the sport from 1999-2006. Since then, others training under John Hackleman have tried to replicate the success of Liddell, but have fallen quite short of the feat.
Current fighters on the UFC roster who are fighting for Hackleman include McGee, Brock Jardine, Steven Siler, Glover Teixeira and Ramsey Nijem.
It's a solid group of fighters fighting under The Pit name, and the gym has two primary locations in Arroyo Grande, Calif., and Orem, Utah (known as The Pit Elevated).
It's refreshing to see how Hackleman trains these guys with tons of "old-school" values. You'll see them pushing wheelbarrows up a hill and flipping tires along a dirt trail. It all takes place in a small town outside of the spotlight.
The more McGee and his fellow teammates can win inside the UFC, the longer we'll see Hackleman in the corner at UFC fights.
1. Court McGee's Story
If you're still looking for a reason to pull for Court McGee, all you need to do is read his story.
His story has received much publicity from his time on The Ultimate Fighter as well as an ESPN special. McGee was once a heroin addict and approached death's doorstep at least once.
McGee, who is now going on seven years of sobriety, not only reflects upon what he has overcome but also uses his experience with drug addiction to help others get on the same positive path as he has.
In addition to the heart McGee shows inside the Octagon, he has an even bigger heart outside of it. I was told recently of McGee offering to help somebody close to me to overcome his demons in which he gave his phone number to pass along, so that person could contact him for help. In short, he offered to be his sponsor.
I'm not proclaiming McGee as my favorite fighter, and I'm not sure I could even single it down to one. What I am saying is McGee represents everything good about a MMA fighter and how many of them have struggled to get to where they are today.
It'd be a shame to see McGee lose on Saturday night and see him have his back against the wall to maintain a spot on the UFC roster.
He may not always be flashy, but the UFC can't have enough fighters like McGee. He brings an inspirational story as well has hope for those who follow him.
Go get 'em, Court.
Joe Chacon is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report as well as a staff writer for Operations Sports and a contributor to The MMA Corner. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.