‘Tasting blood’ made Hugo Viana change as a fighter for next UFC fight

Alexandre Loureiro/Inovafoto

Hugo Viana wants to make a statement in his next UFC fight.

Forced out of UFC Fight Night 28 card with an injury, "Wolverine" returns to the Octagon against Ramiro Hernandez, and his plans does not involve a three-round fight at UFC on FOX 10 on Jan. 25.

"Ramiro is well-rounded, has several knockouts and submissions in his record, so it’s going to be a good match-up," Viana told MMAFighting.com. "I’ll try to keep it standing, but I also have good submission skills to use. He’s also coming off a loss, so he will try his best to win. It won’t be a boring fight. I will go for the finish, and I’m sure he will do the same."

From his MMA debut in 2010 to entering TUF: Brazil in 2012, "Wolverine" won five straight via decision, but it was only in his first exhibition fight that he scored his first finish. He scored a first-round KO over Alexandre Ramos to enter the TUF house as a featherweight, and won another bout before losing to Rony Jason via decision.

In his second professional fight in the UFC, finally in his natural weight class, "Wolverine" showed his knockout power in the bantamweight division with a dominant win over Reuben Duran, and it changed his career.

"I have changed a lot as a fighter since TUF Brazil," he said. "My mind changed, I became an aggressive fighter. After I tasted blood, the knockout, it motivated me to change my style. When I entered the show I was 5-0 with five decisions. I had doubts on my potential. Now I know what I can do, and I promise exciting fights.

"My hands are fast and I hit hard, so I want a knockout. It would be great to kick off 2014 with a knockout."

His left knee, which forced him out of UFN 28 card one week before a fight with Wilson Reis, is completely healed.

"I had a knee injury, but the surgery was great and my training camp was perfect," he said. "I couldn’t spar after the surgery, so I went to Sao Paulo to work on my wrestling. When I went back to Salvador, the training was great. I’m more confident now, 100 percent recovered."

The last time Viana entered the Octagon he suffered a setback with a TKO loss to T.J. Dillashaw. Although the loss threw him down the rankings, it taught him a good lesson.

"My fight with Dillashaw was really good, an exciting battle," he said. "I knocked him down, he knocked me down. It was like two trucks crashing.

"It would be an honor (to fight him again), he’s a great fighter, a top 10 now, but I don’t think about rematches," he continued. "That fight is in the past now. I learned everything I had to learn with that loss and it helped me get better. I’m really motivated for my next fight."

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