Kris McCray is one of the UFC’s newest rising stars. After suffering a defeat in the opening round of the Ultimate Fighter season 11, many people wrote McCray off. One of the few people that didn’t write off McCray was McCray himself. Instead of accepting defeat, McCray continued to work hard and train hard and he earned the wildcard position, giving him a second opportunity. McCray made the most of his second chance by winning his next three fights including a rematch with Josh Bryant and earning a spot in the Ultimate Fighter Season 11 finale against Court McGee.
Even though McCray did not win the Ultimate Fighter Finale, his display of heart and determination won over UFC fans everywhere. McCray recently sat down and discussed the Ultimate Fighter show as well as his future in MMA.
What made you want to be an MMA fighter?
McCray: I used to watch Conan and Van Damme movies when I was younger and I knew I wanted to be a fighter. I used to fight my brother all the time. I would lose but I would never stop come coming. My brother would have to lock himself in the bathroom until our parents came home, so I knew right then and there that I wanted to be a fighter.
When you were on season 11 of the Ultimate Fighter how did you feel after you lost to Josh Bryant?
McCray: I felt like I had to start over. I felt like I needed to recompose myself. I knew that I could get a second chance and I felt I showed a lot of heart in my fight. I kept telling myself to use this as a learning tool and get back in there; it is not over yet so do not give up.
How did you feel after you were selected for the Wildcard position?
McCray: I felt good. I knew that I had to take advantage of this. I wanted to come back and make an impact and I wanted to get to the finale.
Would you do the Ultimate Fighter again?
McCray: Yeah, I would do the show again. I know a lot of people don’t like it because they are away from their families and everything but for me, I had a lot of support and it made it so I could go out and perform. I like to fight and I met a lot of cool people and I had a good time.
Would You Recommend The Ultimate Fighter?
McCray: Definitely. I definitely think that it is worth a shot. I tried three times before
I finally got on and it was worth it. In life you can’t get a hit unless you swing the bat you know, so you have to take chances.
On the Ultimate Fighter you fought every week, now you might only fight three or four times a year how do you feel about that?
McCray: I am a fighter and I want to fight but I also want my breaks in between. I would like to as often as I can, every two to three months would be perfect for me. I’d like to fight five times a year.
If you could fight any fighter in any weight class who would it be and why?
McCray: GSP or Anderson Silva because they are the best right now. I want to be in with best fighters, I want to test my skills against the best fighters out there.
Who do you want your next fight to be?
McCray: I don’t know man; I don’t know who I want it to be. There are so many names of fighters but Chris Leben is turning out to be one of my favorite fighters. You can tell that he is a fighter, he fought on my card and then he fought on the main card of UFC 116. I would like to fight a real tough guy like that so eventually I grow in to a guy like that. I definitely want to be one of those guys where other fighters are like “oh man I have to fight this dude. This dude is nuts right here.” So I want to definitely fight a guy like that and become a guy like that.
What do you like to do when you are not training?
McCray: Watch TV, play video games, hangout with the family, rough house and barbeque. Hanging out with the family though mostly.
When your career is over, how would you like to be remembered?
McCray: As a fighter I want to be one the best. A fighter that not only fought well in the cage but a fighter that also helped grow and expand the sport outside of the cage. I think we still have a long way to go as far as getting other countries and even here in the United States trying to even out the work that MMA fighters put in. Boxing gets paid more and I’d like to see MMA fighters get paid more and get more respect for the sport. I’d like to be a journeyman for the sport.
What is on the horizon for Kris McCray?
McCray: I’m definitely going to keep training hard and hopefully I get on a card soon. I want to go in there and do my thing non-stop; I want to go in there and get my feet wet, I want to get my first win in the UFC. I want to continue living my dream. I look forward to some exciting fights coming up and me just growing every fight as a complete fighter.
Through the Ultimate Fighter Season 11, McCray was able to showcase his fighting style, his heart, determination, and work ethic to MMA fans everywhere. If he continues to work as hard as he did on the show he will be one of the elite fighters in the middleweight division.