Tamdan McCrory scored a much-needed win at UFC on FOX in Orlando tonight (as reported here by Jim Genia), with a hard-fought victory over Josh Samman.

The fight marked a successful return for “The Barn Cat,” who had been cut by the UFC in 2009 following a mediocre 3-3 showing.

Following the bout, he reflected on the ups and downs of those years.

“There’s always a lot of pressure going into these fights,” he said. “You have to win. I left and came back six years later, so I didn’t want to look like a scrub.”

He didn’t — scoring a submission in the third after a dominant performance. But according to McCrory, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“I was in a rough place a few years back,” he admitted. “I got distracted and had a few hiccups. It’s all about momentum – if you have momentum it’s easy to fight and keep the ball rolling. When you don’t, you’ve got to find it. It’s tough and hard to get motivated. I shot down a few opportunities because I didn’t want to fight at 170. But that whole time, I told my wife I was going to be back in the UFC. I told her: we’re going to get some money and raise some babies. I’ve been telling myself for two years now, every day, I’m going to be back in UFC and I’m going to crush my opponent. Here I am.”

Where he is, is 14-3 as a professional, and competing at middleweight in the world’s premier organization — which isn’t a bad place to be.

“I said this earlier, the better you are at fighting, the less of it you have to do, he said. “My team, we talk about mindset. It doesn’t matter what skills you have or your physique, it’s all up here [in your head]. And that’s what showed tonight.”