With three straight losses, all via submission, and the potential for a fourth at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 8 event, John Albert is surely feeling the pressure. Right?
After all, back-to-back defeats are almost always guaranteed to earn a fighter his walking papers. Surviving three defeats is nearly miraculousness. A fourth? Well, that’s uncharted territory.
So Albert is a nervous wreck, correct?
“Nope,” he flatly told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) today.
“Look, it’s just not who I am as a fighter,” he said. “I fight for one reason, and that’s because I love it. I don’t fight to be famous, and I definitely don’t fight to make a lot of money. I fight because I love it, and I love going out there and just putting on the best performance I can.
“I’m not afraid to win, I’m not afraid to lose, and I’m definitely not afraid of greatness. But I am afraid of not performing. That’s my biggest fear, and that’s why I got out there and give it 100 percent so I know I gave it my all. Besides, you’re always on the chopping block essentially.”
Albert (7-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) will look to do that when he meets fellow bantamweight Yaotzin Meza (19-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in the curtain-jerker of UFC on FOX 8, which takes place at Seattle’s KeyArena. The bout streams on Facebook ahead of additional bouts on FX and FOX.
Albert, a quarterfinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 14,” gets to fight in his home state, and “Prince” is likely to be a crowd favorite for the early-arriving fans. And although he didn’t know his next bout would be in Washington, he knew he’d get another one despite the skid, which included a recent “Fight of the Night” loss to Scott Jorgensen and a controversial/early-stoppage defeat to Erik Perez.
After all, right after the Jorgensen loss, a UFC official visited him and gave an option.
“(UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby came in the back room and was like, ‘Hey man, I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to give you a choice. You can either leave the UFC and go fight some local fights and build your confidence back up, or you can stay in the UFC,’” said Albert, referring to the former WEC matchmaker who now handles the UFC’s lighter weight classes.
Shelby told Albert he clearly has talent and simply suffered some bad luck during his current skid, but the UFC executive also knew the losses probably weighed on him. The UFC has granted other prospects permission to fight outside the organization while remaining under contract, and if Albert wanted it, Shelby was willing to give him the option to hit the regional scene and pick up a victory or two.
“I said, ‘Nope, I’m staying with the UFC. I’m good,’” he said. “He was right. I was having mental farts and mental blips, these simple mistakes I was doing. But my confidence is still there.
“I really have no reason I’d want to leave the UFC.”
For the latest on UFC on FOX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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