Catching up with Gabe Ruediger for UFC 118

Though he has 17 wins, including 12 submissions, Gabe Ruediger has left two lasting impressions on most fight fans. One is when he was dismissed from "The Ultimate Fighter" for failing to make weight and two, when Melvin Guillard knocked him out with a body shot.

But now, Ruediger wants to make a different impressions. Instead of being the guy who ate ice cream cake the night before a weigh-in, he wants to be the man who beats his TUF castmate Joe Lauzon.

Since he's been out of the UFC, he has left Team Quest, rehabbed a neck injury, and claims he's in the best shape of his life.

I was looking at pictures of the last UFC I was in and I can’t believe the difference in me. But everything, really. My striking is much improved. You look at a number of my recent wins, which came by submission, but I set them all up with punches. It has been a long, arduous journey. I’ve matured. I don’t think I was ready for TUF. Skills wise, I was. But mentally I let it get to me. I think if I would have gone far there I would have started partying and stuff. Now, I’m all about the fight.

Ruediger got his chance at Lauzon because Terry Etim dropped out of the scheduled bout three weeks ago.

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