Gan McGee. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gan McGee has formally announced his intention to return to active competition following a four-year hiatus from mixed martial arts, starting with a comeback bout against fellow veteran Jonathan Ivey at an Xtreme Fighting Championships event in September.
Fittingly nicknamed “The Giant” during his fighting days due to his 6’10 frame, McGee quickly rose to the top of the heavyweight rankings upon entering the UFC, where he knocked out Pedro Rizzo in his debut with the organization. A first-round TKO victory over Alexandre Dantas and McGee found himself challenging then-heavyweight title holder Tim Sylvia in September of 2003.
Sylvia stopped McGee in the first round but was found to have tested positive for steroids after the fight. McGee pleaded with UFC management to receive another title shot but his wish wasn’t granted. He opted to fight twice overseas, losing consecutive bouts in PRIDE before going into retirement.
When it became clear that UFC wasn’t going to consider me for a second title shot, my entire world collapsed,” McGee said in a recent press release. “I felt like a part of me had just died. It was beyond devastating. I never really recovered from the Sylvia fight. Mentally, I lost that edge, that killer instinct. After I lost my second fight in Japan, I swore to myself that I would never step foot in a cage again, not until I regain my warrior’s mentality back. My killer instinct is back, and trust me, it’s never been deadlier.”
McGee’s scheduled opponent, Ivey, lost a unanimous decision to former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez during XP3 Promotions inaugural event at the University of Houston this past weekend. It was Ivey’s third defeated in his last five bouts.
XFC’s “Salute to Our Armed Forces V” show will take place on September 13th at the St. Pete Times Forum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Those outside the local area will be able to watch the event online at the promotion’s official website, www.mmaxfc.com. No word yet concerning whether or not the live stream will be free of charge.