Court McGee Promises Move to Welterweight Isn't a 'Quick Fix' After Two Losses
Court McGee certainly isn't the first fighter to decide to cut weight to try life in a new division, and he won't be the last.
There is however a negative stigma that tends to come with that decision when a fighter decides to change weight classes after a loss or a series of losses.
Fighters that move from one weight division to another do so with their own reasoning in mind and most of the time those arguments are valid. Sometimes it's because they aren't cutting much weight and they want to compete with fighters their own size, other times it's because they are giving up a lot of height and want to even the odds with smaller fighters, and there are probably dozens of other valid and lucid reasons to make the move.
It still doesn't mean that fighters won't be accused of making a weight class move simply because they want to try to rebound from tough losses and a new division gives them that opportunity.
Court McGee has heard that argument before. As he moves from middleweight to welterweight following two consecutive losses, he's heard it leading into his next fight at UFC 157. Unfortunately, McGee is happy to disappoint any conspiracy theorists looking for the reason he made the move now as opposed to another time.
"We've been thinking about it and talking about cutting weight for a year now," McGee revealed when speaking with Bleacher Report. "It's not a quick fix, I've been thinking about doing it for over a year. It's just after this last fight was over I texted Joe (Silva) and said my next fight was going to be at 170."
McGee says the move isn't motivated by his inability to deal with the size or power of the fighters at 185 pounds. As a matter of fact, McGee went three hard rounds with current UFC middleweight contender Costas Philippou, and he also competed in a fight many believe he won against Nick Ring.
This was all about a personal decision after noticing his body was coming in lighter and lighter as training camp moved along. What was once a tough weight cut to get down to 185 pounds soon became no cut at all.
"I've never been overpowered. I fought my first five fights at 205 pounds, and then I dropped down to fight Jeremy Horn a fight or two after he fought Chuck (Liddell) at 185. He fought Chuck at 205 and then cut down to 185, but that was the first time I had cut to 185. It was a pretty hard cut," McGee explained. "I've never really felt overpowered but I figured if I'm walking at 193 pounds, if I was to walk into camp at 193 pounds, two weeks into camp I would be 185 pounds. I'm not even cutting weight."
Prior to this fight, McGee made a test cut down to welterweight and even did a mock fight a day later to see how his body would adjust to the move. Four rounds later with a fellow UFC welterweight as a sparring partner, McGee was convinced this was the right move.
While the move wasn't premeditated based on losses, this change was just about the best thing for McGee's career. As he explains it, his approach to the fight stays exactly the same—two losses in a row or not.
"It's not a quick fix. Win, lose, or draw I come out to f—king finish the guy and kick his ass. I do it because I love it and because I'm a fighter. There's no quick fixes in anything," said McGee.
"I'm very motivated to come in and kick Josh's butt. Is it any more or less than any other time? I don't know. That's kind of in the past. I'm very motivated. Is this the most important fight of my life? Absolutely. Is there more pressure because I'm at 170? No. I've done everything I can do to assure I will come in and beat the crap out of Josh Neer. That's what I intend on doing."
Damon Martin is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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