Entering his first fight of the year this Friday at Legacy FC 19, Bellator and WSOF veteran DJ Linderman looks to be the best version of himself to date.
“I’ve stuck more to the gym than I ever have,” said Linderman. “Coming into this fight I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. I’m leaner and am supplementing now and it’s just been a better start to any other year that I’ve ever had.”
Linderman knows he has to be at his best as he takes on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Robert Drysdale in a feature bout live on AXS TV from Dallas on the Legacy FC 19 card, and has thusly prepared for it.
“Going into fight a guy like Drysdale, I’ve been working on a lot of submission defense, submission offense, so I can mix it up with him. I’m not just going to be on the defensive end of it,” he said.
“I definitely think his main game plan is to get me in the clinch, tie me up and drag me to the ground. I don’t believe he has a chance on the feet. He’s got good striking, but it’s not great. I’m not saying I’m the world’s best striker, but having watched our fights, I feel I have the better end.”
Having more cage experience than his opponent, Linderman told MMAWeekly.com that he’s confident if the fight goes the full 15 minutes.
“I’ve been in five-round title fights twice in my career and came out on top,” he said. “I push harder now than I did then. I’m lighter and faster now, supplementing, and it’s been working great for me.”
Linderman knows his bout this Friday will be huge for determining his path for the rest of this year, as well as help him exorcize ghosts of his last bout in November.
“This fight is going to make or break 2013 for me,” Linderman said. “It’s either going to drop me down or put me in spots where people’s eyes are on me.
“I want to prove my fight with Anthony Johnson (in WSOF) was a fluke. That isn’t who I am and it doesn’t define me. I came in a little too relaxed (for that fight) and I know I won’t do that again in my career.”
Should he prove successful this Friday, Linderman’s eyes are solely focused on one thing – becoming a champion in his new promotion.
“This year I definitely want to own the Legacy title, either at heavyweight or 205 pounds,” he said. “I beat one of their contenders over there in Dale Mitchell, and now I’m facing one of their other top contenders in Robert Drysdale, and I believe it will put me in title contention if I win this.”