Tamdan McCrory last fought inside the Octagon at UFC 101, falling via split decision to John Howard.

That was also the last time McCrory lost, as he earned his third straight win with a submission victory over Josh Samman Saturday at UFC on FOX 17.

McCrory (14-3) took five years off after the Howard loss, returning in 2014 and ’15 with first round finishes in Bellator.

“There’s always a lot of pressure going into these fights. You have to win,” McCrory said. “I left and came back six years later, so I didn’t want to look like a scrub. There were a lot of emotions coming into this. I was in a rough place a few years back. 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 have moment, you’ve got to find it.”

Now, a “veteran” and self-named “O.G.” of the sport, McCrory knows he has what it takes in terms of support to try and make a run in the UFC.

“It’s tough and hard to get motivated. I shot down a few opportunities because I didn’t want to fight at 170,” he said. “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.

“I said this earlier, the better you are at fighting, the less of it you have to do. 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.”