Nothing Personal, Doerksen Just Wants Revenge


It's not often that the fight game is more forgiving than the rest of life. When it comes to rematches, though, it sometimes is.

Fighters occasionally get a chance that the rest of us dream about at some point in our lives -- to make up for something that happened in the past.

Winnipeg, Canada's Joe Doerksen (Pictures) will get such a chance Saturday at the UFC's first event in Canada. He'll try to avenge a 2005 loss to Jason MacDonald (Pictures) when they meet in a middleweight bout at Montreal's Bell Centre.

Doerksen told Sherdog.com that he has only himself to blame for losing the first fight. He has wanted a rematch ever since.

"The first time I fought him, I felt like I had really good position to win the fight early on and I backed off just a little bit thinking he wasn't that good, and I wanted to make a show of it," said Doerksen, who was fighting in front of a hometown Winnipeg crowd.

His mistake allowed MacDonald to turn the tide and submit him with a rear-naked choke late in the fourth round. The loss upset Doerksen for a few reasons, the first of which was that he believed he was the better fighter.

"Jason is just a fighter that I thought I had better skills than," Doerksen said. "I thought I matched up very well with him and then I ended up losing."

The second reason is that it was the aftermath of that fight that started Doerksen's well-known disdain for MacDonald's trainer, Mark Pavelich -- a feeling that Pavelich has reciprocated toward Doerksen.

Yet Doerksen said the bad blood that fans are expecting in this fight isn't really there.

"Bad blood? Not really," Doerksen said. "Jason, I don't know all that well, so I can't say that I dislike him a whole lot. I'm certainly not a fan, but the real problem I've had is with Pavelich, who really, in my opinion, is insignificant. He's not the fighter that I'm facing, so it doesn't really matter, and that's not going to go away after this fight."

Could this conflict adversely affect Doerksen's preparation?

"I don't know if I even consider it bad blood -- I just don't like the guy," Doerksen said. "We don't argue, but we're not friends either. I'm at the point now where it's really not in my head anymore. I just want to focus on the fight and worry about what I have to do to win."

The rematch was initially a surprise for MacDonald, who in January wrote in his blog that he had "no idea where this matchup came from. This is certainly nothing I asked for, having beaten him before in 2005. Usually when you have a fight in your career and you beat someone -- unless it's a controversial one or one that was left in the hands of the judges -- you move on."

If MacDonald didn't know then, he knows now that it was Doerksen who asked UFC brass for the shot.

"Basically, the UFC called my manager, and given the fact that I took the fight with Ed Herman (Pictures) at very short notice, they just said, ‘Who is Joe interested in fighting?'" Doerksen explained. "He mentioned MacDonald's name, and I guess they called MacDonald to see if he was going to do it. He said yes, and now we're fighting."

Doerksen added that he knew he would win a rematch if he were given a chance.

"I never expected that I would, and here we are two years later and I'm getting another chance, so obviously I'm very happy," he said.

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