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Tamdan McCrory leaves Bellator, re-signs with UFC

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Bellator MMA

"The Barn Cat" is back. Six years after his final Octagon appearance, Tamdan McCrory announced Tuesday that he has left Bellator and re-signed with the UFC.

McCrory told UFC.com that he turned down a Bellator middleweight title shot in order to re-sign with the promotion that gave him his big break in 2007.

"I left a title shot in [my last promotion] to come to the UFC," McCrory said. "If I wanted to win that belt I could have stayed and done it, but I wanted to be back in the sport of MMA, not the MMA entertainment business."

Still just 28 years old, McCrory (13-3) built his name in the early TUF era of the sport. He debuted with Zuffa as an undefeated welterweight and quickly made a splash with a triangle choke over Pete Spratt. He collected two more victories against Luke Cummo and Ryan Madigan before dropping a split decision to John Howard in 2009 at UFC 101.

That loss ultimately ended McCrory's first run in the sport. The UFC released "The Barn Cat" with a 3-3 UFC record, and McCrory wound up spending five years on the shelf battling a litany of injuries and personal issues.

But on Sept. 2014, McCrory's career unexpectedly roared back to life.

The MMA veteran returned at Bellator 123 and knocked out previous Bellator middleweight title challenger Brennan Ward with a memorable salvo of punches in just 21 seconds. That momentum carried over into his next contest, which saw McCrory submit Jason Butcher in just 66 seconds with a textbook armbar.

Now McCrory is ready to test himself against the best middleweights in the world. He told UFC.com that he hopes to fight in either October or November, and he plans to remind fight fans exactly what happens when "The Barn Cat" is free to play.

"I wouldn't have come back if I didn't believe wholeheartedly that I could come back and just wreck house," McCrory said.