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Savage Truth: Kris McCray's Inside Look Into SpikeTV's "The Ultimate Fighter" Episode 11

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Did you think I'd make it to the finals?

After my loss to Josh, I didn't know what to make of my future. I hoped I'd get a second chance, but you count really count on that. I was lucky to get another try. I knew that when it happened and was determined to not let this opportunity pass me by.

Before we get to all that, let's talk about what happened last night.

Like I've said before, Josh is a serious fighter. He's always game and I knew from experience I couldn't take him lightly. This time I wanted to make sure I was still strong enough to go into the late rounds. Heading into my fifth fight in six weeks my body was pretty banged up. You could see me grimace when my knee was tweaked. I also had bumps and bruises everywhere. I had to be careful with Josh, not just because he comes on strong late but so my body could keep up.

Round one I thought I won decisively. It was a lot of me taking him down and him getting back up. That was actually part of the gameplan. We knew he was going to try to get up, so we thought we'd keep taking him down. The whole goal was to slow him down, keep him on the defensive and keep him reacting.

Round two could easily have gone to him. In fact, I have to give Rich Franklin credit. He said I probably won the striking exchanges, but lost the round because of control. I respect Rich for that. He gave real advice. A lot of times a corner will lie to a fighter to not rattle him, but I don't like that. I need to know where I stand. I thank Rich for giving me that. He said I had to go win round three to win the whole thing. I knew that stakes going in and that was what I needed.

Round three we definitely traded some big shots, but I thought I did enough to win. I was a little surprised some judges gave me all three rounds, but I didn't think I had lost after the fight was over.

Redemption felt so good. I knew I could beat Josh, but I blew my first chance. Part of me thinks I needed that to happen. I had five pro fights, but no one had ever taken me the distance. I needed to feel that so I knew what it meant. I thank Josh for the professional wake up call.

People ask me how I felt about the new coaches. I was excited to see them and work for them with the little time we had left, but I knew what I had to do in my mind. I will say, again, Rich Franklin stepped into the role like a true professional.

As for Court and Brad, I thought it was real close heading into the third round. The thing about Brad is that he'd been KO'd just a week earlier. I think he was still not all there. When he got clipped he just couldn't recover. But all the credit goes to Court. What he showed me in that fight that maybe I hadn't seen in other fights was just how well-rounded he was. It got my attention.

I think it’s going to be tough fighting Court. I think I'm the more effective striker in the clinch, but he’s better striking on the outside. We're both body lock takedown guys, so this fight is going to come down to distance.

Rich called me once since the show was over. He said if he isn't too banged up from his fight with Chuck, he'd corner me in the finale. How cool of him is that? He didn't have to do that. That just shows you what a true pro Franklin is. I got a lot of respect for him and I hope he does well in his fight at UFC 115. I haven’t heard from Tito yet, but I hope to touch base soon. Even if Rich doesn't make it, Master Lloyd Irvin will be in my corner. That gives me a lot of confidence.

As for Yager and the pranks, it's kinda like what I said last week. Yager's my boy, but I know he rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way. He wasn't going to get the same courtesy others got. Not making the third round in his fight with Josh didn't help matters. The situation was ugly during the entire show, but came to the forefront at the end. I think that's just life. Yager is a lot smarter and level-headed about things than he gets credit. I know he's going to learn from this and be an even stronger fighter and better person. I absolutely believe in him.

I've got the biggest fight of my life very soon. Camp is going extremely well. Court is a very tough opponent, but I know I'll be ready. I know what it feels like to almost lose the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm determined to never let that happen again.

For those who supported me and stuck by me when things weren't looking so good, thank you. I came into this show with some inexperience and it cost me early, but I've gained so much by being on the show. So many things I hadn't seen before in fights I've now seen. I'm training with the best and I'm around the right people at the right time for my career. I know I've got some things to work on. I will improve everything about my game everyday. I couldn't be more excited about the future.

That’s it for now. Be sure to support the people who support me. Make sure you’re paying attention to Ranger Up, Assassin Industries, Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC), Carnal Dammage and Team Lloyd Irvin/Gold Medal Grappling. You can also get at me on my website:

I’ll be back here on next week. I’ll be on Twitter until then. Be Savage.

The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale coverage

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