In the main event of the FX prelims for UFC 149, Middleweight Nick Ring took a unanimous decision victory over Court McGee. The two were originally scheduled to meet in The Ultimate Fighter house during season 11, but Ring was forced to pull out because of a knee injury. Nick Ring improved to a 13-1 career record and his only UFC loss to Tim Boestch sets him at 3-1 in the promotion. McGee (14-3) is now 2-2 in the UFC and coming off back to back losses.
The first two rounds of this fight looked like a somewhat intense sparring session. Nick Ring used a lot of lateral movement to frustrate McGee as he landed volume shots, with the odd heavy straight left mixed in. Aside from Ring busting up Court's nose, not a lot happened. Then, Ring slowed significantly, allowing McGee to turn this into the dogfight he wanted. For the last 3 minutes of the fight, Court McGee, nose leaking like a sieve, crowded Ring and punished him with uppercuts and body blows. McGee lost the decision in the end, but he went out with style.
What was the high point of this fight?
The final three minutes of the bout. Coming out of a quick intermission to fix Nick's glove, McGee spent the rest of the fight brutalizing Ring as he covered himself and his opponent in blood.
Where do they go from here?
Nick Ring now has 3 wins in the UFC, but this is the second that was a close and somewhat controversial decision. Many thought both McGee and Riki Fukuda edged their bouts and Tim Boestch manhandled him. It's pretty clear at this point that Ring has a definitive ceiling as a UFC fighter. He will get another middling fighter in his next bout, most likely featured since the UFC loves promoting it's TUF veterans.
Court McGee is in essentially the same position as Ring. Without a doubt he's shown his fortitude in the cage, but he's still a large step from the top of the division. That said, the TUF rule applies to McGee too, even more so as a season winner. His two back to back losses will not stay him from another fight in the UFC.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Later. The drama in this fight built slowly but it peaked high.
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 149 in the full entry.