Australian fighter Gustavo Falciroli didn’t get the chance to be on the new edition of TUF: The Smashes, but facing top ten bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes is a great consolation prize.
Falciroli talked to MMAWeekly.com recently about facing Fernandes in the upcoming ONE FC: Pride of a Nation show in August, and had no trepidation about fighting one of the top fighters at 135lbs.
MMAWeekly: You were hoping to get on TUF as a lightweight but there was a problem with your citizenship, can you tell us what happened there?
Gustavo Falciroli: To tell you the truth, I don’t really want to talk about it because I’m very happy to be with ONE FC now and that is what I’m focusing on.
MMAW: What was your initial reaction when you heard ONE FC wanted you to fight Fernandes?
GF: My reaction was the same as it would be to any offer. I never choose my opponent, my job is to fight, so, if the offer is right and I have enough time to prepare myself I will fight against anyone in the world.
MMAW: Do you feel like this will be the biggest fight of your career?
GF: Every next fight is the biggest of my career and this one is no different but I am looking forward to fighting in front of 16,000 people, I was at the press conference and it was huge. It’s gonna be an enjoyable show and OneFC is really big.
MMAW: He is ranked top ten in most places, does the prospect of potentially overtaking him excite you?
GF: A fight is a fight and I respect every opponent that I’m facing and nothing will change my perspective on that. A win is always a win, it doesn’t matter who it is against.
MMAW: At the press conference you looked a lot taller than him, do you think your height and reach could make a big difference in this fight?
GF: We are only gonna see about that after the bell!
MMAW: How did you enjoy your ONE FC debut?
GF: I was very happy that I could put in practice what I had trained for the fight and it was a such honour to be the first Aussie to fight at ONE FC, that might sounds a bit weird for a few people just because of the fact that I’m a Brazilian born guy but Australia has been my home for five years and my whole career I’ve fought out of Australia.
MMAW: Are you signed to ONE FC long term and if so are you hoping to challenge for the belt?
GF: To be the ONE FC champion is definitely one of my goals, but my main focus at the moment is on the fight of the 31st of August.
MMAW: How difficult is it for you to make 135, do you plan to stay there or do you think you will need to move up in weight eventually?
GF: I’m a professional fighter, so, cutting weight is part of the game, I’m bantamweight and there is where I want to keep fighting and I want to write my name on the history of the sport as a 135 lbs fighter.
MMAW: Have you seen many of Bibiano’s fights in the past and what do you think are his qualities and weaknesses as a fighter?
GF: I haven’t really watched him yet so I can’t say much.
MMAW: Where will you be training for this fight?
GF: I’ll be doing my camp all around Melbourne Gyms just as usual since I moved from Perth to here.