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Kris McCray Facing Homecoming Pressure at UFC 122

Returning to his birth country and coming off a UFC debut loss, the pressure is on for TUF 11 runner-up Kris McCray at this Saturday's UFC 122 in Oberhausen, Germany.

"It's a lot of pressure," the German-born McCray said Monday. "I'm over there in my hometown. I came from a good camp and everything. I want to perform well for my friends and family. So it's a lot of pressure."

Hours before his scheduled departure to Germany, McCray (5-1) stopped by the AOL studios Monday in New York City to discuss his upcoming welterweight debut against Carlos Eduardo Rocha.

There's not too much known about Rocha as he's only fought on local cards in Germany and against unknown opponents. However, Rocha holds an undefeated record of eight wins with seven submissions.

"You can make the argument he hasn't fought anyone but I'm still approaching him like he's the best jiu-jitsu guy in the world," McCray said. "This is a really important fight for me I can get back in there and get in the swing of things after the loss at the finale."

Highlights from the interview:

On the responsibility of being a professional athlete -- "Everywhere you go, all walks of life, I think you have to be thinking of your responsibility as a man, as a professional athlete, and as an employee of the show. You're representing somebody along with yourself. You are a role model to somebody."

On going from main event status to live opener -- "The love is I'm on the card. As long as I'm fighting it doesn't matter where. I love fighting first and I get to enjoy the rest of the show. Before I was fighting, I was a fan."

On his mother's new-found interest in MMA following McCray's TUF stint -- "When I got out my mom became my expert in MMA. It was funny, I told her I was going to train with Frankie Edgar and she was like, 'Oh, he's a Libra, his wife's a Scorpio...'"

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