hugo-viana-2.jpgSAN JOSE, Calif. – One fight in to his run as a UFC bantamweight, Hugo “Wolverine” Viana (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) looks like a very wise man. Now he has his eyes on a top-10 slot.

“I think the knockout helped me a lot with my confidence, and I think my mentality got better,” Viana told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “That was a confirmation of my job and my hard work. I was expecting this moment in my career, and it happened in this new division. We started on the right foot – or the right hand.”

Viana made his way to the UFC as a featherweight contestant on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. He was eliminated in the semifinals by eventual tournament winner Rony Jason but was given a bout at UFC 147 with John Teixeira. Viana won by split decision and promptly decided to make the move to 135 pounds.

In his bantamweight debut, Viana fought Reuben Duran and showed incredible striking prowess in a first-round knockout of Reuben Duran.

“I think it was the weight and the new division,” Viana said. “I think I’m bigger and stronger, and I’m still fast. That helps me a lot in this new division – and I think I’m more mature. I think that’s the difference and why I can show more of my style.”

Viana’s next assignment was to be against Reuben Duran at this weekend’s UFC on FOX 7 event in San Jose, Calif. However, one month out, Duran was forced to withdraw from the bout, and Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) took his place.

There are some key differences between the two opponents, but Viana said his approach to the contest has remained the same.

“I think this opponent is more than just a tough guy; he appears to want it more than the other,” Viana said. “Francisco is more experienced and a little older. Francisco was on a good path after winning by knockout, but T.J. won by a knockout, too. So both fighters would have been a great challenge for me, but I think T.J. has more to prove, and he seems to want it more, so this is a bigger challenge for me.

“We’re hunting to get in the top-10, so this fight is better for me. The strategy didn’t change much. I know T.J. is a wrestler and more dangerous on the takedowns, so I have to take care of this. But I think it’s OK. I’m still on my path.”

Fighting in Northern California, Viana will compete in the U.S. for just the second time. In Dillashaw’s backyard, he’ll certainly be the enemy, but Viana said his previous fight in Las Vegas has him feeling rather at home after competing exclusively in Brazil to open his career.

“He’s going to fight in his home, and that’s good for him, but I’m more experienced in the U.S. now,” Viana explained. “This is my second time here. If this was my first trip, I think it would be different for me, but I’m more experienced now. I’m happier. I’m calm for this fight.

“Being in California, the weather is good. We’re starting the spring. In the last fight, I came in winter. I was a little afraid of this because we don’t really have winter in Brazil. Also the air in Las Vegas is very dry, and I was afraid of that. I think this helps me a lot to adapt. And the food is great. You have great food here. Sleep is no problem. We have a difference of four hours, but it’s no problem. Everybody here treats me well and with a lot of respect, so I’m feeling home here.”

Viana was a bit of unknown prior to his win over Duran. Opponent Dillashaw admits he didn’t really know anything about “Wolverine” prior to accepting the fight. But with one impressive knockout, the undefeated Brazilian announced his legitimacy in the bantamweight division.

A victory over Dillashaw – a former “TUF” finalist – would elevate his status even more. The 30-year-old said he won’t be calling out any specific names post-victory, but he believes he’s well on his way to a top-10 slot and eventually a crack at the belt.

“I don’t like to choose the opponent; that’s not part of my way of thinking,” Viana said. “I’m looking for the title, but I think it’s a step-by-step process.

“I don’t want to hurry. There are new challenges in my life, and each fight is a journey. There is a process between each fight, and your life changes each time. So I think step by step, this is the way.”

For more on UFC on FOX 7, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Daron Cruickshank vs. James Krause slated for UFC on FOX 16 in Chicago

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

A lightweight fight between Daron Cruickshank and James Krause has joined July’s UFC on FOX 16 lineup.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Daron Cruickshank vs. James Krause set for UFC on FOX 16 in Chicago

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

A pair of exciting lightweights will meet on big FOX. Daron Cruickshank will take on James Krause at UFC on FOX 16 on July 25 in Chicago, the UFC announced Friday. Cruickshank (16-6, 1 NC) missed wei read news >>

Zak Cummings vs. Antonio Braga Neto booked for UFC on FOX 16

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

The card for UFC on FOX 16 continues to come together. Today the UFC announced a welterweight bout between Antonio Braga Neto and Zak Cummings for the event.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

ONE Championship 21 results: Striegl victorious in debut, Askren vs. Santos ruled 'no contest'

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Reigning, defending welterweight champion Ben Askren took on Luis Santos in the main event of ONE: "Valor of Champions" in Manila and was given a torrid time by the Brazilian before the bout came to read news >>

Invicta FC's Livia Renata Souza hid title fight from family

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Livia Renata Souza will make her Invicta FC debut on Friday night, and it’s going to be the biggest night of her life. The Brazilian prospect, who signed a contract with the promotion after going 6-0 read news >>

Antonio Braga Neto drops to welterweight, meets Zak Cummings at UFC on FOX 16

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

The UFC on FOX 16 card is filling up fast. Following the announcement of Joe Lauzon vs. Takanori Gomi, Erik Koch vs. Ramsey Nijem and Danny Castillo vs. Rustam Khabilov, the promotion made official a read news >>

UFC on FOX 16: Joe Lauzon vs. Takanori Gomi booked for July 25 in Chicago

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

There's an interesting lightweight showdown in the form of Joe Lauzon vs. Takanori Gomi coming to the UFC on FOX 16: "Dillashaw vs. Barao 2" mixed martial arts (MMA) event, scheduled for Sat., July 2 read news >>

Latoya Walker Ready to Drop Some Bombs on Peggy Morgan

  • 29 days ago
  • 7 views

Latoya Walker may be making her big stage debut, but she's ready to drop some bombs on Ultimate Fighter alum Peggy Morgan at Invicta FC 12. read news >>

Takanori Gomi and Joe Lauzon Added to UFC on Fox 16 Card for July

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

Takanori Gomi and Joe Lauzon will face off in a lightweight contest at UFC on Fox 16, according to a Thursday report from MMAJunkie.com. It will be hard punches and sharp submission attempts as two o read news >>