Posts Tagged ‘future’
Hear from Cain Velasquez as he sits down with Daniel Cormier on “UFC Tonight” to discuss his future.
The post Cain Velasquez Talks His Future On “UFC Tonight” With Daniel Cormier appeared first on Fightline.com.
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HAMBURG, Germany – After notching a second consecutive UFC win in an old-school fight against fellow ex-champ Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett plans to take his career one fight at a time rather than push for a title shot.
“I think of just being able to perform at my best at any given moment and completely living in that immediate now,” Barnett told MMAjunkie after his third-round submission of Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 93, which took place at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, and streamed on UFC Fight Pass. “At this point, guys like me and Andrei, we’ve already won belts. There’s a slew of guys out there like us in the heavyweight division that have already proven we’re capable of being the world champion, anywhere you put us, and we’re always ready to take the challenge. And it’s always acceptable for us to be in the title fights.”
Saturday’s fight wasn’t a title fight, of course, but it might have been 10 years ago when the former UFC champs were at the top of the sport. Now in their late 30s, both fighters are closer to retirement than their peak, though they haven’t dropped out of the rankings – Barnett (35-8 MMA, 7-3 UFC) sits at No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports MMA heavyweight rankings despite losses to Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell, while Arlovski (25-13 MMA, 14-7 UFC) is No. 6.
Barnett defended the Belarusian fighter, who’s now lost three straight, and said they’re part of an elite band of veteran heavyweights who are never far from getting a title shot.
“If (Alistair) Overeem got injured (prior to next week’s title fight against champ Stipe Miocic), Andrei or myself, there are some of us that can slide right in and fight in that match, and that’s completely legitimate,” Barnett said. “But the biggest thing we can control are the performances that lie in front of us, one at a time, and I’m sure a heavyweight championship fight could be in the future. But right now, all I was concerned with was fighting Andrei, taking him very seriously, and doing what I could to come out on top, and going from there.”
It wasn’t an easy trip to the victory lap, with Arlovski landing big shots in the first round. Both fighters were staggered with punches early, though Barnett claims he was no worse for the wear.
“I was never hurt in the fight,” he said. “That’s more due to having either an abnormally thick skull or very little brain matter to be damaged in the first place. I think if you look at the library of fights I’ve had, I’ve taken pretty much the best shots from the hardest strikers, and still stood in front of people. So taking a hard punch is not a big deal.”
Taking a finger to the eye is a different matter, of course. Prior to a winning grappling exchange in which he secured a rear-naked choke, Barnett was fouled and turned away from Arlovski, who gave chase and smacked him with another punch when the referee didn’t intervene. Despite the unlawful turn of events, Barnett said he doesn’t hold his opponent at fault.
“No, that’s his job,” he said. “The ref doesn’t tell you to stop, you’re not supposed to stop. (Arlovski’s) job is not to go out there and be my best friend; this isn’t the best-friend-making competition – this is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I hold no grudges against him. He was grabbing the inside of my glove, too. Blatantly illegal. Don’t hold any grudges about it, in the least. Only disappointed I didn’t do it first.”
Maybe that’s part of being a veteran – sharing in all the tricks of the trade.
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