For UFC Fight Night 36 lightweight Cristiano Marcello, there's enough pressure going into a fight without having to worry about job security. Part of his game plan is to maintain his focus, avoiding the stress that comes from a potential cut from the UFC roster.
Marcello told MMAWeekly.com that once in the Octagon the focus centers on making the contest appealing to eyeballs, especially those that write the bonus checks.
“I don't like to go into fights with unnecessary pressure,” he said. “I focus on what I need to do, and most important is to make an exciting fight. I always do my best to go after the finish whether it is a TKO, submission, or a KO. I believe that Joe and Dana reward fighters for fighting that kind of style.”
The Brazilian mixed martial artist will perform in front of fellow countrymen this Saturday against TUF 15 cast mate Joe Proctor. Marcello says he and Proctor still have a fairly good relationship from the TUF days, but this weekend's fight is one where he'll have no problem trying to fight his friend.
“A fight is a fight. The moment he agreed to fight me I knew I also wanted to fight him,” explained Marcello. “I still have a great relationship with him, but during the 15 minutes we have in the Octagon together let's try to take each other's heads off.”
Both Marcello and his Fight Night opponent have been out of action for a number of months – Marcello for 11 and Proctor for 14. Some would say the extended layoffs would hurt each fighter, taking away from perhaps their stamina or muscle memory. Marcello, however, much like he avoids worry about his job security, said he doesn't put the thought of ring rust on his mind.
“I always like to have the mentality that the best fighter I can possibly face will be the one that will show up that night,” he said. “I believe the best mentality I can have is that I am training harder and more focused than my opponent.”
And despite the long time away from the Octagon, Marcello says fans might see something they've never seen from him before.
“I have been working on some new things for this fight,” he says, “and I want to show the fans come Feb. 15.”
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