Carlo PraterCarlo “Neo” Prater is a man on a mission following a rocky UFC debut.

The welterweight, formerly out of Brasilia, Brazil, won his last fight by disqualification over Erick Silva, but it was less than ideal. He got overwhelmed by strikes early and the fight was stopped, but the result was later overturned when it was deemed Silva had illegally punched Prater in to the back of the head. Moving forward, Prater wants to wipe this hollow victory from his memory and make a splash at lightweight.

Before entering the UFC, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt was riding a four-fight win streak, winning all of those fights via submission, including a win over UFC veteran Cameron Dollar.

At UFC on Fuel TV 3 in Fairfax, Va., the 30-year-old believes he prepared well for the hard-nosed, grinding style of T.J. Grant. He faced a similar fighter, losing to former MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee, but believes that loss pushed him to the next level.

“I’ve tried to work on those things (wrestling), mainly after the McKee fight,” Prater told MMAWeekly Radio.

“That was a great fight for me because it helped me in the long run.  I was very cocky going into that fight.  I was like, ‘I’m going to stuff that guy’s shot. He doesn’t know how good my wrestling is,’ and sure enough, he dumps me on my butt off a blast double.  I was like, ‘oh (expletive) well I guess okay I don’t know, let me get back up and then I’ll show him what’s up,’ and sure enough again and again I wasn’t getting off on my feet like I should’ve.  I made it a bad fight for myself anyways.”

As the band How it Ends would say, “the hardest lesson is the one you learn too late.” And for Prater, his hard lesson came after being overconfident with his wrestling against Mckee.

“After that fight, it was good because I did some things I needed to do; the things that I needed to do, which were mainly to better my wrestling and get better trainers for that.  It was a good fight for me and I know it sounds cliché, you learn a lot more from your losses then you do from your wins and I’ve got a lot of losses, so I’ve learned a lot.”

The Brazilian knows he learned his lesson after the McKee fight, but make no mistake about it, Grant is not McKee and Prater is expecting a more diverse plan of attack.

Having won 16 of his 30 bouts via submission, it’s obvious Prater plans to bring this fight to the mat, but not without showing a new bag of tricks.

“I think we’re both good at pretty much the same thing.  It’s going to make me do new things, hopefully it’s going to make him do new things and mainly tap.  I think it’s going to be a fun fight like that because he’s a well-rounded guy, but his forte is more on the ground, but you never know, a fight is a fight.  He could go out the gate and try to surprise me with some stand-up, you never know but I’ve got my plan.”

Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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