mitch-clarke-2.jpgWINNIPEG – Mitch Clarke and John Maguire might be backed into a corner, and only one of them is getting out after Saturday.

Each with two straight losses, they’re in what can only be described these days as critical territory going into UFC 161, which takes place at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

But for Clarke (9-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), tell him he’s backed in a corner all you want. He’s not about to walk into his fight with Maguire (18-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) with a bad attitude.

“You can’t go in thinking negative, in my opinion,” Clarke on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after a short workout for fans in Winnipeg. “But at the same time, they could’ve cut me after that last one – it was two in a row. But the UFC sees something in me to keep me around, and they obviously see something in him to keep him around after two losses. I think that’s what makes it an exciting fight.”

Clarke started his career 9-0 with seven stoppages. But his UFC run has been back-to-back disappointments.

First, he was stopped by John Cholish in his debut at UFC 140 in Toronto for the first loss of his career. And as a way of rebounding from that, at UFC 149 in July 2012, he got hurt early against Anton Kuivanen and kept fighting – but lost a split decision.

The knee injury put him out for along stretch – till now. And he had some stuff going on outside competition, as well, that made him do some internal investigation.

“The knee injury, I kind of hit rock bottom after that last fight,” Clarke said. “Everything that could’ve went wrong in my personal life kind of did. I think it made me a better person and a stronger person. So it’s really all about how you look at things – half empty or half full. Yeah, I’m backed in a corner, but you have to win fights now, anyway – and you have to win them well.

“They have no use for boring fighters. They want guys that come to fight. John Maguire comes to fight, I come to fight – and that’s why they keep us around.”

So Clarke fixed up the physical, since he couldn’t wrestle while rehabbing the knee. And he says he fixed up the emotional, too.

“I had to change up how I train, but I think it made me a better fighter,” he said. “It made me put my priorities in the right order. You have to jump in with two feet in this sport if you want to compete at the highest level. I got my knee surgery, I got eye surgery, I got rid of some dead weight in people I didn’t need in my life that were kind of negative. So I’m looking forward to redemption.”

Maguire’s back-to-back losses could have him on the potential chopping block, as well, with a loss. After decision losses to John Hathaway and Matt Riddle, Maguire chose to drop down from welterweight to lightweight.

And that choice, Clarke thinks, might actually play to his advantage – even though Maguire might have a size advantage when the fight rolls around.

“He does have a lot of weakness I think I can exploit,” Clarke said. “I think coming down to ’55 isn’t going to be as easy as he thinks it is. I train with some of the best guys in Canada and some of the best guys in the States at MMA Lab – all great 155ers. I’m going to be ready for anything he throws at me, and it’s not going to be anything I haven’t seen before. He’s going to be good at some things, but I’m wondering how the weight cut is going to effect him.”

A fuller camp for Maguire at MMA Lab in Arizona, including training with UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson and contender Jamie Varner, has Clarke feeling confident and ready that his two UFC losses are in the past.

“This is the best I’ve felt,” he said. “No excuses – this is the best camp I’ve had. No major injuries. I’m really looking forward to this – I’m looking forward to fighting for once. It’s been a long time.”

UFC 161's main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook. The Clarke-Maguire lightweight fight is part of the Facebook prelims.

For the latest on UFC 161, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Related News

With Velasquez fight off UFC 207, Fabricio Werdum wants to fast-forward to rematch with champ Miocic

  • 22 days ago
  • 23 views

With his rematch against a fellow former heavyweight champion off the table for UFC 207 on Friday, Fabricio Werdum has one pretty big idea of what his next fight could be, instead. Filed under: News, read news >>

Julianna Pena Wants a Title Shot After Valentina Shevchenko or She Quits | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 50 views

Julianna Pena headlines her first UFC when she squares off with Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on FOX 23 in Denver, but she's not happy about it. read news >>

UFC 206: The Thrill and The Agony Video | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 247 views

Go behind the scenes for the highs and lows of UFC 206 featuring Cub Swanson, Dooho Choi, Donald Cerrone, Matt Brown, Anthony Pettis, and Max Holloway. read news >>

UFC on FOX 22 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 29 days ago
  • 36 views

Following Saturday’s UFC on FOX 22 event, several of the winning and losing fighters took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters. Check out some of those reactions. read news >>

After UFC on FOX 22 loss, Sage Northcutt again changing divisions

  • 29 days ago
  • 61 views

Sage Northcutt is returning to the division where his UFC career began in such promising fashion.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC on FOX 22's Hector Sandoval injured hip in first round against Fredy Serrano

  • 29 days ago
  • 20 views

SACRAMENTO – UFC flyweight Hector Sandoval didn’t think much of Freddy Serrano and predicted a second-round finish in their UFC Fight Pass prelim at UFC on FOX 22. Fate had something else in mind.Fil read news >>

Disappointed Sultan Aliev admits playing it safe against Bojan Velickovic at UFC on FOX 22

  • 29 days ago
  • 18 views

SACRAMENTO – After nearly two years on the sidelines and a knockout loss in his UFC debut, welterweight Sultan Aliev admitted he was weighed down by pressure at UFC on FOX 22.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

After UFC-debut win, Paul Craig 'won't accept anything less' than top-15 competition

  • 29 days ago
  • 17 views

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After handing Luis Henrique da Silva his first career loss, Scottish light heavyweight Paul Craig is already thinking big: "I’m going to make waves within the UFC’s light-heavywe read news >>

UFC on FOX 22's Eddie Wineland wants off UFC Fight Pass so he can avoid Best Buy

  • 29 days ago
  • 62 views

SACRAMENTO – Among UFC bantamweight Eddie Wineland’s first words backstage to UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby were “no more Fight Pass,” with an expletive thrown in for good measure.Filed under: Featured read news >>

The UFC Women's Featherweight Title Is a Conspiracy in the Making

  • 29 days ago
  • 18 views

It’s been the better part of a week now, and still none of this is sitting right. The UFC announced last week UFC 208 would feature a women’s featherweight title fight, a concession to the excellence read news >>