Russow: The Pressure Is All On Werdum
Posted on 20 Jun 2012
by MMAScoops.com Staff
Heavyweight Mike Russow (15-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) told MMA Junkie that at UFC 147 on Saturday, all of the pressure will be on his opponent, Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
The event takes place in Werdum's home of Brazil at the Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond (also known as "Mineirinho"), a 25,000-seat arena in Belo Horizonte. This will be the first time since 2008 that Russo (a Chicago police officer) has fought twice in a single calendar year. He is currently on an eleven fight win streak that goes all the way back to 2007. After joining UFC, he's defeated names like Justin McCully, Todd Duffee, Jon Madsen and John-Olav Einemo. He has been fighting in MMA for fourteen years and is a former NCAA Division I wrestler.
He has slimmed down during his stay in UFC and says he's in the best shape of his career. His win over Einemo gave him confidence after he made him submit at UFC on FOX 2 in January. His opponent, Werdum, has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Russow's only loss came over five years ago at PRIDE 33 via submission against Sergei Kharitonov. However, he is currently close to reaching 5-0 in UFC.
On being the underdog: "Honestly, (fighting in hostile territory) really doesn't bother me. I'm the underdog and glad all the pressure is on him. It doesn't bother me what the fans are doing. I really don't even hear my coaches after the ref says go, so that's not going to bother me at all."
On where a win over Werdum would put him: "I believe I'm right up there with the top (guys). I've had some injuries and have been averaging one fight a year. I'm excited this year to have two fights already, and I just want to keep going. Hopefully this will be a good sign. Fabricio, I have a lot respect for. He's ranked like fifth in the world. A win over him on Saturday would get my career really going and really jumpstart it. It would be huge."
On defeating Einemo: "I think it really boosted my confidence going against Einemo. He's a world champion and a very good submission guy, himself. Fabricio is a lot more active and is very good, but I think (fighting and beating Einemo) helped my confidence. From watching film on [Werdum], especially his last fight with Roy Nelson, his standup is a lot better –especially in his muay Thai, in the clinch going for knees. He's a tough guy, and I'm going to try to not make any mistakes."
On being in title contention after beating Werdum: "Sometimes I think about it. It's been a real slow pace, but I'm just focused on this fight. I just want to get past Saturday and shock everybody."