Video courtesy KSL)
Hearing guys like Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg explain that Court McGee has come a long way from his days as a junkie pale in comparison to hearing Court and his family members speak about their recollections of some of McGee’s darkest and lowest points in his life.
The guy literally died and was seconds away from suffering irreparable brain damage, but because of a combination of luck and good timing, was resuscitated before becoming a vegetable.
According to The Ultimate Fighter 11 winner, he didn’t know how far he had sunk until after he hit rock bottom and came back to reflect on the life changing experience.
"I started hanging out with the wrong people — drinking, partying. It went from that to worse, to drinking every night," McGee explained. "I started mixing that with the alcohol and then it got worse. It went from that to cocaine and heroin, and then overdose."
After being prescribed painkillers for an injury, McGee developed an insatiable appetite for anything that would help him get high — a past time that soon enveloped McGee’s life and drove away his family and friends.
"I was a horrible person," Court says. "I was unemployable. I didn’t have any friends. I was a detriment to society. I had nothing."
After getting kicked out of his parents house because of his habits and penchant for stealing to fuel his addiction, his parents began to dread hearing the phone ring. They knew it was inevitable that one day they would get the phone call that was every parent’s nightmare.
They were right.
"He always pushes the limit and for him it was death. We always wondered when he would hit rock bottom and for him it was death," his mother Noel McGee recalled. "Court overdosed at his cousin’s house. She was the one that opened up the door and saw him and he was dead. He was clinically dead."
Luckily for McGee , paramedics who were responding to a call at a nearby trailer made it to his cousin’s house and were able to revive him before it was too late.
Although the medics arrived in time to save his life, the amount of time his heart stopped beating for had some detrimental effects and as such McGee had to learn how to walk and talk again during a month-long stay in a rehabilitation facility.
He relapsed a handful of times, but after his last one in 2006, he says he lost the desire to escape from his life and decided to embrace the gifts he had.
"I took one drink in Vegas and I ended up in Iowa four days later with no pants on and a long sleeve shirt, looking for meth," he says. "I decided after that, you know, ‘Well, it looks like I’m not going to be drinking anymore. About a week and a half later on April 16, 2006, that was my last drop. That was it."
Returning eturned to his old high school, McGee became an assistant wrestling coach and soon regained the fire he once had to compete.
"I got the spark back in me. I want to compete," he says.
After a few months of training he competed in his first MMA fight and hasn’t looked back.
Compiling an impressive 9-1 record with his only loss coming to UFC veteran Jeremy Horn, McGee, who had quit his job as a plumber a year prior finally earned a spot on TUF 11 after several failed attempts.
The rest is history.
"I knew what I was there for," he says. "I came in there, one, to be in the place where I was of maximum usefulness to others, that was, to carry the message. And, two, was to win."
Following his win over Kris McCray in the final on June 19, McGee dedicated his win to the family that helped him back from the depths of hell and to people who are struggling what he went through.
"I want to dedicate this fight to anyone who is struggling today," an emotional McGee said, addressing the crowd and the millions watching at home. "I love you all! To my family, my dad, my mom, and Chelsea and Isaac, I love you guys!"
"The saying that I have is I always worked hard and I never gave up on my dreams and that’s exactly what I did, man," McGee said. "Even when I was using and drinking I still knew somewhere that I was meant to do something and maybe that’s why God didn’t let me die, I don’t know. Maybe He’s got a plan for me. Maybe His plan was for me to follow my dreams."