Josh Bryant Talks Semifinal Loss, Upcoming Fight on TUF 11 Finale

Josh Bryant lost a unanimous decision to Kris McCray on the final episode of Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, missing out on a berth in the finals and a chance to fight for the fabled "six-figure contract" in the June 19 Ultimate Fighter Finale. But Bryant is still fighting on the Ultimate Fighter Finale card, and he's excited about the possibility of becoming a full-time UFC fighter.

In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Bryant also said he disagreed with the judges' decision, but that other than that, he has nothing but positive feelings about his time on the UFC's reality show. The full interview is below.

Michael David Smith: The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Kris. Did you think that was the right decision?
Josh Bryant: I felt like it was a war -- it was really close and definitely not 30-27 for Kris. It was a close fight in my opinion, and it sucks that I didn't come away with the decision.

In the first round I did drop him with a little left hook, and they basically didn't count that but just counted him wrestling me the whole time and gave the first round to Kris. Then the second round I thought I controlled the whole time -- controlled the cage, landed some good strikes and stopped him from taking me down, so I thought we were at worst one and one after the second round. The third round I thought was close too, could have gone either way, but only one judge gave me the second and all three judges gave him the first and the third.

What's your feeling toward the judges? Are you angry? Disappointed?
I felt like I hurt him and won the fight, but you don't want to leave it to the judges. I did and I lost.

You had already beaten Kris once before, and then he was given a second chance and beat you. Are you hoping to fight him a third time and finish it with him once and for all?
I guess it depends on how he does in the Finale. If he wins I'd certainly like to fight him again. I'm fighting on that card too, although I'm not allowed to say who I'm fighting yet, and I hope that I win that fight and then the UFC gives me a good opponent so if Kris wins in the Finale it would be great to fight him again.

Since you're fighting in the Finale, are you now at the point in your life where you can devote yourself to MMA full time?
I'm on the verge of that. I'm kind of in the in-between stage. Hopefully after this month I'll be a full-time fighter.

Would getting one of the bonus checks make a big difference in your life?
Oh, man, that would be super awesome. To get a Knockout of the Night, Submission of the Night or Fight of the Night would be huge for me. But I also don't want to put too much into that. I mostly need to go in and win my fight.

Overall, how satisfied are you with your Ultimate Fighter experience?
I had high expectations going into the house, and I thought it went well for me. Obviously I wanted to win that decision, but I am fighting in the UFC on June 19 no matter what. I certainly can't complain. I got to fight the clown of the house, the bad guy of the house [Jamie Yager], and I won. To be able to take a guy everyone hates, beat him and make him quit was great. And I thought I fought well overall.

Editor's Note: The UFC announced Thursday morning that Bryan will take on Kyle Noke on June 19.


In the other fight on this week's episode, Court McGee choked out Brad Tavares with less than 20 seconds to go in the third round.What's your prediction for Court McGee vs. Kris McCray?
Those are both really tough guys, really solid in their wrestling. I think Court is a little cleaner in his boxing. I look for Kris to push the clinch and try for a takedown, but I'm picking Court via decision.

What about the fight between the two coaches at UFC 115, Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin?
Liddell is an animal. He's back. I look for him to win a first-round knockout. After the show I got to go out and train with him and he looks really good.

Now that the show is over, how do you hope fans view you?
I'm just a normal guy who likes to fight and I'm pretty decent at it. I hope fans will keep watching me go out there and fight.

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