Kyler Phillips wasn’t too mad when Raphael Assuncao was forced out of their fight and was replaced by Raulian Paiva.
After Phillips beat Song Yadong at UFC 259, many expected him to get a ranked opponent next. That ended up being the case as he was set to meet Raphael Assuncao at UFC Vegas 32. Unfortnately, Assuncao got injured which was disappointing news. However, for Phillips, he said his mindset didn’t change at all.
“Of course you can get pissed off but like what can I do? Why am I going to dwell on the past or what I can’t control? Let’s move on to the next dude and beat someone up and get paid by the UFC,” Phillips said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “It’s a no-brainer, it’s pretty sick.”
With Assuncao out, Phillips will take on Raulian Paiva who is ranked 12th at flyweight and is moving up. Although the preference would’ve been to face another ranked bantamweight, Phillips is still excited for the matchup. He knows the Brazilian will be looking to take his head off.
“He’s a man that’s ranked number 12 at flyweight. He’s a big dude that couldn’t make weight at 125,” Phillips said. “In his last win, he weighed in at 129. He’s probably put some weight on and he’s taking it seriously and I know he will be trying to come for my head. Let’s bring it, I can’t wait for him to try to take my head off because I’m going to bring it too.”
Against Paiva, Phillips says the game plan doesn’t change. He expects it to be a striking battle which he’s excited for.
However, Kyler Phillips knows he’s a problem for anyone at bantamweight if it’s just a striking battle. “Matrix” says he can put pressure and throw unique strikes to frustrate his opponents which he expects to do against Paiva. If he does that, he knows the finish will happen.
“He’s durable and has a lot of heart, too, and he hits hard. But, I think I’m a very scary opponent for anybody man, anywhere,” Phillips said. “Anybody that’s going to step into the Octagon to fight me, there are a lot of areas that are easy for me to go to. I mix it up well as far as speed, angles, pressure, going with the flow, spinning stuff, putting it on, power shots, body, going to the leg. Once I get people into that mental space is where I can thrive and take him out.”
If Phillips does get the stoppage win, and remains healthy, the hope for Matrix to fight at least one more time this year. However, he says he won’t be calling anyone out as he’s just focused on moving up the bantamweight ranks to eventually become the champion.
“It depends. You can plan for the future but not worrying about things you can’t control,” Phillips said. “If I don’t have any injuries, after this fight, I definitely want to get in another fight… I don’t really know what will happen but I’m down to fight anybody… The plans to get the belt. No matter if it takes one, two, three four, or 100 people I’m going to grab that belt because that’s my goal,” Phillips continued.
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