Philip De Fries (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is 2-2 in the octagon and could suffer a second consecutive loss if things don’t go his way against Matt Mitrione (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at UFC on FUEL TV 9.
De Fries, though, is none too worried about the future. Unlike his opponent, who recently said he was fighting for his job at Saturday’s event, he is at peace with whatever comes next in his career.
“I’m just doing my best, and if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be,” De Fries on Thursday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “But I throw down every fight, so I’m just going to do what I always do.”
UFC on FUEL TV 9 takes place at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. De Fries vs. Mitrione serves on the FUEL TV main-card following prelims on Facebook.
De Fries’ relaxed outlook doesn’t clash with his drive. He is a regular fixture at San Diego’s Alliance MMA, which is thousands of miles from his home in Sunderland, England. There, he gets in sparring with UFC vets Brandon Vera, Phil Davis, Ross Pearson and a host of other top-tier fighters. Back home, he does drilling in preparation for the long trip.
Practice against a variety of gym challenges is an asset in the cage. De Fries notes that “The Ultimate Fighter 10? vet Mitrione, who comes into the fight following back-to-back losses, is unusual compared to other heavyweights.
“Matt is long,” the Brit said. “He kicks well, which is unusual for a heavyweight. But I’ve got my own tools, as well.”
Long known as a submission specialist, De Fries has tapped eight of his 12 opponents inside the cage. It stands to reason he might be best served taking the fight to the ground against Mitrione, particularly after his most recent bout, which ended when heavyweight prospect Todd Duffee stopped him with strikes in the first round.
De Fries is similarly unaffected by the setback.
“It’s humbling, but it keeps you working hard,” he said.
As for what he has in store for Mitrione, fans will have to wait and see.
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