UFC 163's Bristol Marunde: Full training camp is a luxury I can only now afford


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bristol-marunde-4.jpgThere are certain risks involved with taking a fight on short notice, and UFC middleweight Bristol Marunde knows them as well as anyone.

Over the past two years, Marunde has had the opportunity to compete under the bright lights of the Strikeforce and UFC banners. However, in his two fights with the organizations, he had a minimal amount of time to prepare due to the fact he stepped in on very short notice.

At UFC 163 tonight, though, Marunde feels he will finally get the chance to showcase his full skillset, backed by the preparation of a full training camp.

“Training camp is one thing that has been a huge difference for this fight,” Marunde told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “My last two fights were called on a week’s notice, and it’s hard to prepare.”

Most MMA fighters do their best to keep in shape year-round so that when they do get the call for a short notice fight, they are ready to make the very best of the opportunity. But as an athlete still working his way up the ladder in terms of exposure and pay, Marunde is forced to work a second job, meaning he doesn’t have the time or resources to be training full-time unless he has a fight scheduled.

Fortunately Marunde (12-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC) knew of his next fight, which takes place tonight at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, well ahead of time. When he meets fellow welterweight Viscardi Andrade (16-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the Facebook-streamed prelims, which precede additional bouts on FX and pay-per-view, he believes he’ll be reaping the benefits.

“I don’t really stay fight ready; I have another job,” he said. “I have a life to continue and a family that I have to continue to progress in. I don’t just live in the gym, but for this fight, I had two months to prepare. So I did exactly that: I lived in the gym because I knew I was fighting.

“I’ve been hitting the weights hard. I’ve been dieting correctly and spending the time being a more well-rounded fighter.”

The difference between a few days and a few months of training can be massive for a fighter competing at the highest level of the sport, and for Marunde, the additional time spent in the gym provided the extra boost of motivation needed to earn his first victory since November 2011

“I’m excited to be in great shape,” he said. “I’m just ready to fight because all that training and all that motivating day in and day out is causing a lot of hunger and desire to fight.”

The contest is Marunde’s first outside the U.S. after 20 domestic fights. Knowing the past difficulties American’s have had defeating Brazilian’s in their home country, he doesn’t plan on allowing his fate to be decided by the judges and hopes the extra training will lead him to a stoppage.

“My focus is more on finishing the fight,” he said. “I cannot let this go to the judges. Americans – or foreigners – don’t do well in decisions (in Brazil). So I’ve trained to finish the fight and I’m ready to push.

“I have a huge gas tank, and I’m going to put the pedal down and make this guy fight. So for me a win is only about finishing the fight.”

For more on UFC 163, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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