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Tom Duquesnoy wary of underdog Terrion Ware ahead of European homecoming

Tom Duquesnoy returns against Terrion Ware at UFC London.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC London has received a fair share of criticism, but one of the most well received bookings for the event was Tom Duquesnoy’s bantamweight tilt with Terrion Ware.

Duquesnoy was lauded as the best prospect outside of the UFC for a number of years before his signing in 2017. He built up a loyal fan base between the UK and Ireland through his capture of both the BAMMA featherweight and bantamweight titles.

“Firekid” couldn’t help but crack a smile when he saw the reaction to the March 17 fight announcement.

“I loved it,” Duquesnoy told MMA Fighting.

“The way the English fans have received me over the years has always been great. It’s almost 10 times that I have fought there, and every time they have shown a deep respect for the fighters.

“Even though a lot of times I was coming in and fighting the hometown fighter, they would always applaud after the fight because I had proven myself to them. They take you for what you are, that’s why I like the English people.”

In France, Duquesnoy has been training in a multitude of striking disciplines so he will be ready for the punching prowess Ware has displayed in his two UFC outings to date. Usually Duquesnoy prepares for fights in Albuquerque, but even though Greg Jackson isn’t in France to oversee his student’s training sessions, the veteran coach is consulted regularly throughout the camp.

And although Ware has yet to taste victory in the Octagon, Duquesnoy thinks it would be very foolish to take him lightly.

“He may have lost his two fights in the UFC, but he was facing two excellent fighters — Cody Stamann and Sean O’Malley. They were close fights, especially against O’Malley,” he said.

“He has an amazing capacity to take punishment and to keep coming forward, he has a lot of heart and he has a very good boxing level.

“I know that he will be ready after suffering two losses back-to-back. When you lose three or four fights in a row there is a chance that you can be cut from the UFC, so that will give him even more motivation coming into the fight.”

Coming off his first UFC defeat to Stamann, his first loss in five years and the second of his pro career, Duquesnoy has a newfound motivation of his own.

“I have rebuilt,” he explained. “We’ve come up with a new gameplan and a new way of training taking everything into consideration that didn’t go well in the last fight. You add that to all of the things that have been working over the years and it seems to be coming together. It’s a mixture of learning from the defeat and keeping what makes you who you are.

“I definitely agree with the philosopher Nietzsche who said, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’”