The Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee (13-1) returns to the Octagon after almost a year long layoff to battle South Korean knockout artist Dongi Yang (10-1) on Saturday night at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. McGee made his UFC debut in June of last year at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, submitting Kris McCray by rear naked choke in the second round to capture the season crown. He returned to the Octagon four months later, submitting UFC veteran Ryan Jensen in the third round by an arm triangle choke.
Yang made his debut back at UFC 121, the same card the McGee defeated Jensen on, against The Ultimate Fighter season 11 contestant Chris Camozzi. He was narrowly edged by Camozzi on the judges' scorecards, losing by split decision. In a follow-up performance five months later at UFC on Versus 3, Yang stopped veteran grappler Rob Kimmons with strikes in the second round.
The power that Yang put on display in that fight will be his means to ending McGee's seven-fight win streak on Saturday night. Kimmons is well-known for his resiliency to more powerful strikers, yet Yang was able to tag him consistently in the second round to finish him. McGee will need to take less risks in the stand-up department if he wants to avoid becoming another win on Yang's record.
Despite Yang's advantage in the power department, McGee should enjoy an advantage in every other area of this fight. He's the more technically sound striker on the feet. He has the ability to land from range and circle away from counters. He's an improving ground fighter, and his home at Victory MMA has helped him grow. McGee should win on Saturday night.
It isn't that easy however. Yang is a bit of a wildcard in this fight. He's an unpredictable Southpaw striker. His defense is wide open for McGee to bombard, but one punch could end McGee's run. Conventional wisdom would suggest otherwise. McGee has yet to succumb to a knockout from an opponent, and Yang isn't a skilled enough striker to land at will against a much more defensively sound fighter like McGee. McGee picks apart Yang from range early, possibly taking Yang to the floor and controlling him for most of the rounds. McGee via decision.