Two TUF champions—Jonathan Brookins and Court McGee—are presently on the upcoming UFC Fight Night 25 card, but fans should anticipate a more impressive return to the Octagon Saturday by McGee.
McGee and Brookins are pretty even regarding stats, so how does one figure that McGee’s fight will be the better one?
McGee has 13 wins out of 14 professional fights, while Brookins has 12 wins out of 15 professional fights.
McGee is currently on a seven-win streak, in comparison to Brookins’ four-fight win streak, and McGee’s two most recent wins took place in the Octagon. McGee, however, has not fought in 11 months.
Court McGee, winner of The Ultimate Fighter 11, also spent the past several weeks recuperating a torn ACL.
Both fighters have more victories via submission than knockout.
Several things stand out about McGee’s fight against Dong–Yi Yang, placing it as the more exciting fight in comparison to the Brookins-Koch fight.
Due to potential ring rust built up over nearly a year, and an opponent who has achieved nine out of 10 of his professional victories via knockout, McGee has a lot going against him.
Brookins, on the other hand, still has yet to make his Octagon debut, originally delayed due to injury. This does not hurt his case, but it does not help him.
In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Brookins said that the time off to heal a broken orbital he received during training gave him time to reflect and reassess his strategy.
Brookins’ time away from the Octagon allowed him to train and drop down from the lightweight division to the featherweight division. His more natural weight is 145.
“It gave me some incentive to put some extra effort in,” Brookins told The Sun.
“I had already gotten a spot in the UFC at 155, so it was a little harder for me. But I thought it was a good part of my career where I could implement a little more focus.”
UFC is not doing any favors for Brookins after his time off and his move to a lower and smaller weight division.
If featherweight is Brookins’ more natural weight, in addition to his yet untested skills under the big lights, it makes sense that Dana White would not make his first fight an easy one. Brookins, however, claims he is ready for the challenge.
Regarding winning the reality show, Brookins went on to tell the Sun, “It’s a blessing I really don’t want to go to waste.”
“I don’t want it to be something I didn’t have the full respect for. It’s something that comes with a lot of responsibility. I want to be that person who really covets it for the position, while not making it the highlight of their life.”
Brookins will be facing the younger, equally talented and very hungry Erik Koch, who told MMAjunkie.com in a recent interview that he is looking to knock out Brookins.
Having previously won Knock out of the Night from both the WEC and the UFC for his two most recent fights, Koch’s aspirations are not impossible. Brookins will have to overcome Koch’s explosive inertia in order to secure a win.
Koch is also very capable on the ground; 58 percent of his wins have been by submission, ranging between chokes and armbars. On the other hand, 53 percent of Brookins' wins have been by submission, making him only slightly less successful in that regard.
Everybody likes an underdog, and Brookins must overcome several obstacles to achieve a win. In another regard, McGee’s successful reentry into the Octagon means he must neutralize Yang’s strikes by bringing him to the ground and beating him there.
Despite possessing similar profiles, the length of McGee’s time off recovering from a severe injury that affects major mobility, places him at a distinct disadvantage against a very skilled striker.
This is precisely why his victory would be the more impressive of the two TUF champions.