MENU
#Conor McGregor #Cris Cyborg #UFC 211 #Bellator 179 #Nate Diaz #Rory MacDonald #Angela Magana #Paul Daley #Diaz vs. McGregor 2 #Dhiego Lima #Hayder Hassan #GSP


chris-cariaso-ufc-169

UFC flyweight Chris Cariaso needed a second to compose himself for a second when he got the call to fight champ Demetrious Johnson.

After all, the idea that he was next in line for the title was as surprising to him as it was to most MMA observers. Until onetime title challenger John Dodson announced he would be out for a year due to a knee injury, he was assumed to be the next guy in line.

“I was in just as much shock as everybody,” Cariaso on Thursday told MMAjunkie Radio. “I had to hang up the phone to call them back; I had to go around the house real quick to calm down. It was an ecstatic feeling.”

Now, that feeling is changing to another one of resolve as he prepares for the opportunity of a lifetime in the co-headliner of next month’s UFC 177, which takes place Aug. 30 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif. (The event’s main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.)

When the UFC came calling, Cariaso had been training for a bout with Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC Fight Night 52 in September, so his surprise wasn’t accompanied with a dread that he was unprepared. On the contrary, he said he’s been thinking about fighting the champ for a long time.

“I was already in training camp, so it was an easy transition and an easy choice for me to take it,” said Cariaso (17-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC). “It’s always been my thing that I’m training for every day – to fight Demetrious and get that belt.

“Every time I’m training, in my mind it was, ‘This is how I’m going to beat Demetrious.’ So when I got the call, it was an easy decision to make.”

Johnson (20-2-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) is likely to be a massive favorite heading into the bout. The 27-year-old fighter has looked increasingly unstoppable as he’s dispatched four title contenders and grown into a pay-per-view headliner, dominating Ali Bagautinov this past month in the main event of UFC 174. Although UFC 177 represents a quick turnaround for the champ, Cariaso will be counted out by many in the buildup to the event.

And yet the past year has been one filled with victories by big underdogs, some of which have caused dominant champions to be upset. UFC 177's headliner features a bantamweight title rematch between newly minted champ T.J. Dillashaw after he shocked the world by stopping the long-reigning Renan Barao.

“It’s definitely something I think about,” Cariaso said. “(Chris) Weidman and Anderson Silva, everyone thought Anderson Silva would run right through Weidman, and look what happened twice. I definitely paid some dues to get there, and I’ve never backed down from a fight. I’ve always asked for big fights no matter what.

“Getting this call, I’m not even listening to what anyone else is saying. I’m focused on my training to go in there and be the best I can be. You can say what you want to say now, but I come to the fight. Let’s see what’s going to happen.”

Cariaso said he won’t necessarily try to come up with an answer for everything the lightning-fast Johnson does in the cage, but he said he will be ready to go five hard rounds with the champ if need be.

“You learn his pace and his rhythm,” Cariaso said. “That’s the biggest thing I can get. You can’t get too focused on one technique the guy’s doing. But you can learn his pace.”

If anything, Cariaso has proven he has the ability to keep up with the competition. Although he’s fallen short against standouts such as John Moraga and Jussier Formiga, he is a quick striker that could present a challenge for Johnson on his feet.

That might not be enough for those who put money on fights, but Cariaso likes his chances.

“Anything can happen,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old. I’m ready for this matchup. It’s a dream for me to be out there, so I’m ready to go out there and capitalize on this.”

For more on UFC 177, stay stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie 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 lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Related News

Stipe Miocic Needed to Lose to Junior dos Santos | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 3 views

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic told MMAWeekly.com that he needed to lose to Junior dos Santos in their first fight. read news >>

Jessica Penne first UFC athlete flagged for potential doping violation following biological passport review

  • 12 days ago
  • 31 views

Jessica Penne has the dubious honor of being noted as the promotion’s first athlete flagged for a potential doping violation following a review of her biological passport.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 211 headliner Stipe Miocic: 'I'm not here to make a legacy – I'm here to win'

  • 12 days ago
  • 5 views

DALLAS – Stipe Miocic isn’t concerned about what type of legacy he’s going to leave behind after his fighting career is over. However, if his future goes as planned, he knows it will be a good one.Fi read news >>

Jessica Penne Flagged for UFC Anti-Doping Violation Upon Reanalysis | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 9 views

UFC strawweight Jessica Penne has been flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Violation. read news >>

Frankie Edgar Wants to Stay Winning at UFC 211 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 3 views

Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar wants to continue his winning ways when he takes on Yair Rodríguez on the UFC 211 main card on Saturday. TRENDING > Injury Forces Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pet read news >>

Jared Gordon: From Lookin' For a Fight to UFC Debut (UFC 211 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 1 views

Dana White: Lookin' For a Fight prospect Jared Gordon makes his UFC debut on Saturday, May 13, on the UFC 211: Miocic vs. dos Santos 2 preliminary fight card. read news >>

After 'Fight of the Year' loss, Dooho Choi meets Andre Fili at UFC 214 in Anaheim

  • 12 days ago
  • 9 views

A featherweight bout between Dooho Choi and Andre Fili is the first official addition to July’s UFC 214 lineup.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Tim Elliott replaces Joseph Benavidez against Ben Nguyen at UFC Fight Night 110

  • 12 days ago
  • 7 views

Ben Nguyen didn’t have to wait long to get a new opponent after Joseph Benavidez announced Wednesday he was out of their scheduled flyweight bout at UFC Fight Night 110.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Wants To Be First Female To Hold Two UFC Belts | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 9 views

Strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants to be the first female fighter to hold two UFC belts. First, she'll have to get past Jessica Andrade at UFC 211. read news >>

Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping Talks Off; Yoel Romero to Get Title Shot

  • 12 days ago
  • 39 views

UFC President Dana White told Fox Sports Australia's UFC Fight Week that a planned middleweight title fight between Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping has been called off. According to Fox Sports read news >>