Chris Camozzi wanted a fight with a top 10 opponent, but he certainly didn’t expect it to come on two weeks’ notice.
When his manager called to tell him about a co-main-event opportunity with fellow middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (17-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at next week’s UFC on FX 8 event, it was a shock. But Camozzi (19-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) wasn’t going to turn it down for anything.
“I’ve been begging for it, so even with short notice, I don’t mind,” Camozzi told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “If you ask for something, you’ve got to be ready to take it.”
Camozzi, who’s won his past four UFC bouts, had just finished a training session in preparation for a bout with meet Rafael Natal at the May 18 event when he checked his cell phone.
“I had a bunch of missed calls from my management team,” he said. “I was expecting the worst. Any time I’ve got that many calls from my manager, it’s probably not good news.”
But it was. Souza was left without an opponent when Costa Phillippou was forced to withdraw due to an injury, and UFC officials decided to give him his wish. (Natal now faces newcomer Joao Zeferino.)
“We had a gameplan going for Natal,” Camozzi said. “Quite a bit of it will transfer over to fighting ‘Jacare.’ Obviously, I know I’m not a better straight jiu-jitsu guy than ‘Jacare,’ and no amount of training will get me to that level.”
Camozzi, however, didn’t rest up following his most recent bout, in which he bested Nick Ring by split decision at UFC 158 in Montreal.
“I’m in better shape than when I fought Nick,” he said. “I got home from Canada and just kept training.”
Confident that he’s sharper than before, Camozzi isn’t intimidated by Souza’s reputation as a top-flight middleweight.
“This is MMA; this isn’t straight jiu-jitsu,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a lot time, and I think I’m going to surprise people.”
Souza, a former Strikeforce champ and decorated grappler, makes his UFC debut at the event, which takes place at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Souza is ranked No. 8 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA middleweight rankings. Camozzi, meanwhile, recently moved into an honorable mention slot.
“I with a win it definitely puts me in the top 10,” Camozzi said. “There are other guys ranked in the top 10 that never beat a top-10 opponent, so I think by me beating one, I should get to replace one of those guys.”
Or maybe just Souza, who’s won his past three bouts. Now a crisp striker in addition to being a renowned grappler, the Brazilian has been mentioned as a potential contender for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Most fans would consider Camozzi a big underdog in the matchup, but he’s not bothered by that designation.
“I prefer it that way,” he said. “There’s no pressure for me. He’s ranked higher than me, so I have everything to gain.”
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.view original article >>
Jon Jones was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of a potential failed test, his third overall.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Jon Jones is in hot water…again. Jones has been notified of a potential doping violation by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for a drug test that was administered in competition on July 28 fo read news >>
Jon Jones' reign as the UFC light heavyweight champion appears to be over after less than a month. TMZ Sports reported Tuesday that Jones tested positive for Turinabol and has been stripped of his ti read news >>
Check out how the MMA community reacted to the stunning news of Jon Jones’ latest positive drug test.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
UFC star Jon Jones reportedly tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, prior to his UFC 214 win over Daniel Cormier, according to TMZ Sports. Brett Okamoto of ESPN confirmed the news, alth read news >>
Dana White and Jeff Novitsky, the UFC's vice president of athlete health and performance, are holding a Jon Jones press conference, Tuesday at 10:45p ET. read news >>
Watch flyweight contender Ray Borg defeat Chris Kaledes from their bout in 2015. Borg takes on champion Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title at UFC 215. read news >>
Following news that he failed a drug test administered ahead of his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, Jon Jones and his team released a statement on Tuesday night. UFC officials confirmed that Jo read news >>
Daniel Cormier has experienced a roller coaster of emotions over the past few weeks. The former light heavyweight champion suffered only the second loss of his professional fighting career at UFC 214 read news >>
Dana White and Jeff Novitzky held an impromptu media scrum on Tuesday addressing the breaking news of Jon Jones testing positive for steroids. read news >>