Ultimate Fighter's Josh Bryant Talks Jamie Yager Matchup

On the most recent episode of The Ultimate Fighter, Josh Bryant learned that his next opponent will be Jamie Yager, who so far on this season of the UFC's reality show has feuded with fellow castmates and knocked out both of his opponents. In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Bryant offered his thoughts on the matchup with Yager and why he thought it would be a winnable fight.

Bryant also broke down the bout between Kris McCray and Kyacey Uscola, and he offered some wisdom from the Tom Cruise movie Days of Thunder. The interview is below.

Michael David Smith: The first fight we saw on this episode was Kris McCray getting a submission win over Kyacey Uscola. Were you impressed with what McCray did?
Josh Bryant: I was impressed. Kyacey is a good fighter who trains with a very good camp with Urijah Faber, and McCray looked good in beating him.

You previously beat McCray. Did it make you feel particularly good that a guy you beat was able to move on?
Yes, for McCray to get a good win against a good opponent, it made me feel great to know that I beat someone who got a good, quality win like that.

You found out you got Yager in the next round. How did you feel about that?
I was fine with that matchup, even though I hadn't seen a lot of Yager just because he knocked out both of the guys he fought early in the first round. But what I did see was some of his timing, and I thought I could capitalize on some of those things.

When you prepare for a fight, how important is it to you to get a specific game plan for a specific opponent?
It's important but in this case it was kind of tough because both of Yager's fights were so quick there wasn't a lot for me to see. Back home when I'm getting ready to fight someone I try hard to find out a lot about him, watch his fights on YouTube, look up his record on Sherdog, but in this case it was a little bit different because we couldn't Google people in the house. But from what I did see I thought he was a good athlete who had some things I could take advantage of.

Yager has kind of been portrayed as the "bad boy" of this season. Did you see fighting him as raising your own profile?
I was really willing to fight anyone. Dana White, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz asked me who I wanted to fight and I just said anyone on the red team. When they told me Yager I thought that was a good matchup for me.

Nick Ring decided to pull out with a knee injury. Did the guys in any way question his toughness over that, or did you all feel like he was making the right choice to take care of himself?
To be honest, talking to him in the house I didn't even know it was an option. We didn't know that he chose not to fight. We thought he couldn't continue fighting. But he was sparring and his knee gave out on him so it probably would have been a bad idea to keep going. Do I think it was smart for him to pull out? Yes. He had already had knee surgeries, and you want to walk when you're older. It seemed like his knee was really bad.

Do you think about that much? Do you worry that after a career as a pro fighter you might have injuries that affect your life when you're older?
Well, if you've ever seen that old Tom Cruise movie Days of Thunder, they talk about how the racecar drivers don't want to hear anything about the risks, they just want to race. I think it's the same with fighters. You don't ever want to think about what could happen. And if you go down in a blaze of glory, well, there's no better way. Would I rather be old and have a lot of injuries or old and telling myself "I should have done this, I should have done that"? I'd rather be old and limping. That's how I look at it.

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