Sean McCorkle Dreaming of Return to UFC, Road Back Starts Saturday

His stay in the UFC was simply too short for Sean McCorkle. The massive 6-foot-7 fighter, who cuts from over 300 pounds to make the heavyweight limit, shot to notice in the MMA world with a debut win over Mark Hunt last September, was in the co-main event his second fight out, and was cut after his third, a loss to Christian Morecraft. The whirlwind stretch landed just a half-year.

Now pursuing his career in independent organizations as a free agent, McCorkle does so with the hopes of returning back to the UFC's octagon.

"I'd love to be back in the UFC," McCorkle said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "It was one of the highlights of my life, sadly. I would like to get back in. It was a short stay and a short run. Like 10 months."

If he's to get back, he'll have to string together a few wins, starting this Saturday at CFA 2, an event to be held at U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami. While he had originally been scheduled to fight Mike "300" Hayes in the night's main event, Hayes was unable to receive permission to fight from Bellator, an organization with which he is contracted. So instead, McCorkle will face Cameron Befort, a 22-year-old with a 5-3 record who is riding a three-fight win streak.

McCorkle had no problem with the late change, noting that it allowed him to request his bout to be altered from a heavyweight fight to a 285-pound limit, giving him much less weight to cut.

"Coincidentally, yesterday was my 35th birthday," he said. "I found out I didn't have to make weight, we're going to fight at 285. So I'm happy, my family is happy, they were feeding me cupcakes. Me mom tried to feed me more cupcakes than UFC feeds Matt Mitrione."

Mitrione, a close friend of McCorkle's, was sitting alongside him for the interview and laughed. In fact Mitrione -- an undefeated UFC heavyweight -- paid McCorkle several compliments, saying the strain of the weight cut affects him more than most will ever know.

"I just don't think he's been able to show how good he really is," Mitrione said. "I'm not making excuses for him because I'll rip on him as much as anybody, if not more. But some people, a weight cut like that will kill them. I think his body wants to be 310 or 315. So getting down to 265 is a huge effort in itself. It kind of sucks that that's where the money is, it's under 265. So I don't know if anybody's seen the good Corky."

McCorkle also mentioned how he is often struck by nervousness leading into big fights, and how that affected him while in the UFC.

"I was so afraid to get cut by the UFC," he said. "I was so afraid to lose that I didn't throw my hands or do anything, take any chances because I really, really did not want to lose. It's every bit as bad as I thought it would be to lose and to get cut."

Still 10-2, McCorkle says he feels comfortable competing at his upcoming fight at 285, especially while earning good paydays, ones he termed "UFC money, against not necessarily UFC competition."

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