25 Feb 2008 19:03:18 PM
(“I’m ready to go in there and shock the world.”)
By CagePotato Special Contributor Ben Fowlkes
Chris Wilson is in a difficult spot. The Team Quest welterweight and former member of the IFL’s Portland Wolfpack was offered his first UFC fight just a few weeks ago, against one of their toughest, most highly touted 170-pound contenders: Jon Fitch. Of course he accepted, but now oddsmakers have him as one of the biggest underdogs going into UFC 82. In this exclusive interview he indulges in a little straight-talk about taking a pay cut to fight in the Octagon, training with Dan Henderson, and how he plans to prove everyone wrong on Saturday night.
CagePotato: Jon Fitch is obviously a tough fighter, and he’s riding a fourteen-fight win streak. What are you expecting from him and how are you planning to deal with it?
Chris Wilson: I expect him to come in and do the things he does best, which is throw hard punches, try to get you in a corner, and get on top. That’s his game plan. That’s where he’s most comfortable and that’s what’s worked for him, and I don’t see him trying to change that now. If he were looking to come in and show how good his striking is, I think he would try and do it against someone with much less chance of knocking him out. But if he’s going to stand in front of me it will make his night a lot harder.
A lot of people talk about Octagon jitters when a guy has his first UFC fight. You’ve fought in front of big crowds before in several different organizations, so how do you think your first UFC fight will affect you?
It’s hard for me to say that I won’t be affected by it because I haven’t been there yet. But like you said, I have fought in front of crowds of many thousands of people. Maybe not as many as the UFC brings in, but I know what that kind of pressure feels like. There are certain things that I think will help me deal with it. Being an underdog helps take some of the pressure off me. Also, it helps that I’ve been to UFC events and cornered my teammates there. I’ve walked through that tunnel and out into the arena with the screaming fans. Even if it wasn’t me who was fighting that night, at least I know what to expect. I guess I just have to wait and see.