MONTREAL – Nick Ring is back in Montreal, but fortunately things are much different this time around.
Ring was scheduled to meet Constantinos Philippou at UFC 154 in November. But on the day of the fight, he was pulled when doctors discovered he was sick – a lot sicker than he even realized he was.
With the disappointment of that missed opportunity now behind him, Ring gets another shot – back in Montreal and on a card again headlined by Georges St-Pierre. Ring (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) meets Chris Camozzi (18-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on the pay-per-view main card Saturday at Bell Centre in Montreal.
And while Camozzi is tops on his list right now, he wouldn’t turn down a chance to try again with Philippou.
“That was a huge fight, a huge opportunity for me,” Ring told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “And I feel bad for Costa. I know he trained just as hard as I did, and to not get to fight is disappointing. I’d love to get another opportunity (to fight him). He just came off a big win, so we’ll see how this fight goes. I don’t like to look past opponents. I’ve got a really tough opponent for this weekend and all these guys are tough in different ways. You can’t be looking past anybody. This is the kind of sport where anything can happen and you’ve got to be ready for anybody.”
Ring gets back to work, finally, after his most recent win – a unanimous decision victory over his former “TUF 11? friend and castmate Court McGee at UFC 149 on his home turf in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Philippou fight-that-wasn’t gave him a full fight camp, just not the opportunity to get in the octagon.
So now, the Canadian is looking forward to getting another streak going after starting his career 13-0 before a loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 135.
It’s also his first fight on a main card in the UFC – a fact that certainly is not lost on him.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” he said. “It’s my first time on the main card, but the job description doesn’t change. Just because you’re on the main card doesn’t mean the job is any easier than it was before. It’s better exposure, and I’m happy with that. But when it’s all said and done, you’ve just got to focus on going in there and doing the job you need to do.”
It’s also a bit of deja vu from fighting McGee. Camozzi was another member of the “TUF 11? house.
“I wanted to fight on this March card because it’s back in Montreal and GSP’s headlining (like UFC 154),” Ring said. “This is my second chance to get in there. I was happy about being on this card and they said, ‘You’re fighting Chris Camozzi.’ He’s a buddy of mine. But within a day or so, we were messaging each other: ‘Did you hear the news?’ It’s like, ‘OK, good luck.’ We message all the time. We’re like a couple chicks. It’s funny.”
Ring said when it comes to fighting a friend, it’s just part of the business and he knows how to separate the friend part and the business part for the time they’re in the cage on Saturday night.
“This is business,” he said. “I’m a martial artist, and there’s a switch you have to flip that separates your personal life from professional, and this is it. These guys are friends, but it’s not like they’re training partners. They’re nice guys. We’re friends before, we’re going to be enemies for about 15 minutes, and we’ll be friends after. Afterwards, I can shut the robot off and go back to being friends.”
For more on UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.