Coming off impressive back-to-back wins under the UFC banner thanks to finishes of Yushin Okami and Chris Camozzi in the first round, "Jacare" wants to kick off 2014 with another bang inside the Octagon this Saturday night. He takes on Francis Carmont at UFC Fight Night 36 in Brazil.
"My goal is to always destroy my opponents, but I have to be ready for everything," the former Strikeforce middleweight champion told MMAFighting.com. "He’s a tough opponent, so I need to be ready to fight for 15 minutes if I have to. But my goal is to finish the fight before that."
Carmont is 6-0 in the UFC, and the Brazilian won’t compare him to his previous opponents.
"Carmont is not better or worse than Okami," he said. "They are different fighters with different styles. Carmont has fought and beat great fighters in the UFC, so he’s ready to fight anyone in the middleweight division right now."
A grappling wizard with heavy hands, "Jacare" plans to shock the world once again at Arena Jaragua, the same place where he fought and beat Camozzi last May.
"I always try to add new things to my game," he said. "I evolved a lot technically and physically since my last fight. I’m ready for this big challenge. My jiu-jitsu is strong, so he can get in trouble with that. That’s my mission."
He’s not looking past Carmont, though.
"I’m just thinking about my fight with Carmont, I’m not worried about the title right now," he said. "I have big trouble in front of me.
"The Strikeforce guys are doing great in the UFC. They didn’t win a title yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Robbie Lawler is here to prove it. (Gilbert) Melendez and Josh Thomson did great fights with Ben Henderson, as well. It’s just a matter of time."