Former Army reservist Kris “Savage” McCray is one of four fighters left standing in season 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and his future in mixed martial arts is looking pretty good just a few weeks after sustaining his first career loss.
McCray willl square off next Wednesday with Josh Bryant in the semifinals for a chance to fight for a UFC contract in the TUF finale June 19. McCray lost his first fight on show to Bryant in an exhausting three-round decision earlier this season. It was McCray’s first loss in MMA, and he struggled to keep pace with the more experienced Bryant in the third round. But McCray showed a great deal of toughness throughout the fight, and that helped him earn a second chance when he was picked by UFC President Dana White as one of two “wild card” fighters allowed to compete for a slot in the quarterfinals. McCray submitted Kyacey Uscola in the wild card fight to stay on the show, and then used his ground skills to defeat Kyle Noke in the quarterfinals.
Making the semis is huge for McCray. Judging by past seasons of TUF, McCray has probably already earned himself a spot on the TUF finale win or lose. Traditionally most of the fighters who make the semifinals at least get a chance to fight on the undercard in the TUF finale. There’s even been cases where fighters who didn’t make even make the semis, like Matt Brown in season 7, end up scoring UFC contracts.