Had it not been for an injury during high school that ultimately led to a battle with drugs and alcohol, former Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee could have ended up at Northwestern University and the wrestling team.

McGee faces Ryan LaFlare this Saturday at UFC on FOX 9 and will be in search of his third straight win since moving to welterweight.

“I looked at Northwestern in Chicago and had a possibly academic and wrestling scholarship,” said McGee, during a recent interview with FightLine. “I had really good grades and had graduated commended.

“I was a good high school wrestler, won a national tournament and was a two-time 5A state placewinner (in Utah). I was heading off to college, ended up getting injured and started drinking. I mixed pain pills with alcohol and was addicted. I didn’t want to leave the state to go somewhere else because I didn’t know if I could fill my addiction.”

McGee (16-3), who shared his personal story while winning the title of Ultimate Fighter, has turned his struggles into a thing of the past. Now, he’s committed and focused on becoming the best MMA fighter he can.

With two wins in 2013, the year has been his best professionally since 2010 when he captured the TUF title over Kris McCray via submission and followed it up with a submission win over Ryan Jensen.

“It’s been a great year so far,” he said. “I changed some things up. I wasn’t cutting guys off. I had a rough fight in Australia (a decision loss to Costa Philippou) where the guy ran the whole time. I focused on cutting them off, using my faints, my footwork to set up punches and kicks.

“My focus is ending with big punches, left hooks, straight rights and setting up more power.”

McGee has finished three opponents via knockout and seven by submission, earning six decision victories. He is 5-2 in his UFC career.