By Rory MacDonald:
I didn’t know who my next opponent was to begin with when I was offered him for my upcoming fight. I was given the name, Che Mills, but wasn’t able to put a face to it or even remember whether I’d seen him fight before.
It didn’t really matter to me, either. I just accept the fight, train like an animal and then win the fight. The name of the opponent or the danger of the opponent doesn’t really matter to me. I leave all that stuff up to my management, my coaches and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva. It’s my job to just go out there and fight.
I’ll honestly fight whoever is put in front of me right now. That means Mike Pyle, Che Mills or Carlos Condit. It doesn’t make a difference to me. I’m confident of beating every man currently competing in the 170-pound division, and that’s the truth. I’m ready for them all.
In all honesty, I deliberately try not to plan too much ahead of a fight, as I don’t think an athlete benefits from being stuck to a rigid game plan. Instead, I like to stay adaptable and versatile and pretty much adjust to whatever my opponent brings on the night of the fight. So long as I have done the work in training, I know I’ll have what it takes to counteract whatever it is my opponent tries to bring on fight night.
After learning the name of my next opponent, I went away and watched one of his early fights, just to see who he was, but I haven’t watched any of his others. The idea was to just familiarize myself with who he was, what he looked like and how he fought, and then that was enough. I don’t feel the need to go through his entire career box set in order to gain an insight into what kind of threat he will try and present me with on April 21. I really don’t care about anything else. My sole concern is to improve and work on my own skill-set and then use that to crush my opponent on the night.
Some people have suggested that Mills isn’t a great opponent for me because he isn’t ranked high enough, or he doesn’t boast the experience of a Mike Pyle or a Brian Ebersole (who I was scheduled to fight before an injury scuppered the date). That much may be true, but, honestly, rankings are all incredibly subjective anyway. Nobody has a true set of rankings they can offer me. It’s all just opinion. Sure, you can figure out a top five or a top ten, but it will always be adjusted to your personal preference.
You can get a guy like Jon Fitch, who wins and wins for years, but has to wait ages for a title shot because he’s not deemed exciting enough. Whether you like it or not, mixed martial arts is a performance-based sport and, though results are important, it is the manner of the result that is most important. So, no, Mills might not have a long list of UFC wins to his name, but I’m told he looked very explosive in his UFC debut and got a lot of people talking about him. That’s half the battle right there.
In an ideal world, I’d love to be fighting some of the more well-known guys in the division, perhaps even the very top guys, but I realize patience is key and that my time will come so long as I keep on winning. All I can do is focus on putting on a great performance each and every time I step into the Octagon, regardless of who I am up against. Everything will fall into place after that.
Finally, people can talk about Mills’ striking threat as much as they want, but I’m comfortable striking with him. I hold no fear of standing toe-to-toe with this guy. Also, he’s the one who needs to worry about me, as I’m fairly certain I’ll be better than he is in every single area of this fight. He’s going to have to adjust to my style. I have many, many weapons in this fight and he will have to be cautious in everything he does… Continue reading on Sporsnet.caTags: featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news, UFC on FOX, UFC on FOX 2, ufc on fox 3, UFC on Fuel, UFC on FX