The UFC returns to Australia four months after the thrilling UFC 193, and Viscardi Andrade wants to spoil the night for Australian welterweight Richard Walsh.
Fighting outside of Brazil for the first time in his 24-fight MMA career, Andrade battles Walsh in the preliminary portion of UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane on March 19, and expects home field advantage to be an issue for his opponent.
"This is my first fight outside of Brazil, and I’m excited to show my work to the world," Andrade told MMAFighting.com. "I will use that as an advantage. The crowd will help him, but at the same time is an extra pressure. You can’t lose in your own country, and I’m going there to spoil the Australian party."
Andrade fought three times in Brazil as a UFC fighter, with a loss to Nico Musoke sandwiched by wins over Bristol Marunde and Gasan Umalatov.
"I felt that, we have a responsibility fighting in your home country," he said. "Fans go there to watch you put on a show and represent your country. You can’t lose in your country. I want to make him feel that pressure."
In his most recent fight, Andrade defeated Umalatov via decision. It was his first fight since breaking his right tibia and fibula in training. It took him more than a year to return to action, and he believes he didn’t perform at his best last November.
"I fought better, but felt the ring rust," Andrade said. "That Russian was tough, I landed some good hands and elbows and he didn’t go down. This fight is going to be different. I will be calm and smart to do my thing, and it won’t last 15 minutes. That’s what I expect."
With his rhythm back, Andrade faces a fellow TUF alum who fought the majority of his MMA bouts in his home country, and knows what to expect from him.
"He’s very aggressive, and prefers to fight standing despite being a Gracie Barra brown belt," said the Brazilian. "He scored knockdowns in the first 50 seconds of every one of his four UFC fights. He’s dangerous in the beginning, so I will avoid a brawl with him. I will counter and find the perfect opening to attack with a good hand. I want to benefit on that. When you’re overaggressive, you tend to create openings for counters."
"I haven’t used my ground game in the UFC yet, and that’s a good weapon," he continued. "I plan on using it in this fight. I don’t want to get into a brawl with him. If I manage to counter with a good counter punch, perfect, but I want to take him to the ground. I will dominate him fairly easily on the ground and finish the fight. He won’t be able to escape once he goes to the ground."
Patience is the key, Andrade says, to get the win and avoid disappointing defeats. In his only loss under the UFC banner, the jiu-jitsu black belt came close to knocking Musoke out in the first round, but chose to celebrate instead of going for the finish when his opponent went down, giving Musoke a chance to recover and win the decision.
"You have to wait for the perfect moment" Andrade said. "Sometimes you think it’s over, but you don’t get to finish the fight and get frustrated. That’s what happened to me when I lost. I thought it was over, celebrated, but couldn’t finish the fight. Musoke was able to come back and win the decision. I won’t make that same mistake again."