UFC on FUEL TV 9 will feature the hype train derailer Marcus “Bama Beast” Brimage (6-1) squaring off against Dublin, Ireland’s hot prospect Conor McGregor (12-2). The featherweights will clash at the Ericcson Globe Arena on April 6 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Of course having spent most of days training in the sultry southern weather, Brimage isn’t looking forward to the 19 degree forecast that lies ahead in Sweden. However, he is looking forward to heating up the battle when he arrives in Europe.
A veteran of The Ultimate Fighter’s 14th season, Brimage is currently undefeated in the UFC. At 3-0 with the promotion, Brimage has stifled several other rising stars hopes of making an impression in the UFC. Although he hasn’t yet finished any of his adversaries, it doesn’t mean that that’s not the goal. Against McGregor, who has finished nine of his fights in the first round, Brimage hopes to make a statement.
“The plan is to win by any means necessary. If it goes to decision it sucks, but it’ll go to decision. If I knock his ass out in the first, then I knock his ass out in the first. We don’t get paid by the round in the UFC,” Brimage told MMA Fight Corner in a recent interview.
In December 2011, Brimage took on undefeated prospect Stephen Bass, who was making his UFC debut and handed him his first loss. Then came Maximo Blanco, a Strikeforce import who lost to Pat Healy in his one-time appearance with the promotion, but had a six fight win streak prior to that. Brimage squashed his hopes of rebounding with a win in his UFC debut as well. When Brimage took on Jimy Hettes, who was 10-0 with two UFC fights already under his belt, the “Bama Beast” took home another decision victory and spoiled another up-and-comer’s rise in the UFC.
Ready to get to the next level of his MMA career and face fighters that will put him in a position to get his name closer to the mix of contenders in the division, Marcus wants the masses and the UFC to know, he doesn’t want to be viewed as the welcome mat anymore.
“It’s just that the position I’m in, in the UFC, everyone thinks I suck. Sooo if I beat you, you really suck. Because they keep using me as a stepping stone. Maximo Blanco he was supposed to on the fast track to Aldo, I stopped that…Jimy Hettes, I stopped that. Now this guy, and I’m about to stop that again. They think I suck. They keep using me as a stepping stone, but if I keep beating you and you suck, then that means you really suck.”
Brimage’s last fight was seven months ago at UFC 152 and according to him, he has no idea why it took so long for him to get another fight booked.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know either. I feel like I was being punished for beating Jimy Hettes. I was like ‘yo what’s going on with that?’ So that was kind of shocking. But the time was well spent because I’ve done a lot of training you know. So all the months I had off, I did nothing but get better in the process. I’m kind of happy to have that time off to just to relearn my craft,” Brimage said.
Ahead of his trip to Sweden, Marcus has focused in on getting his conditioning at an elite level. As he put it, having superb cardio can make or break your will inside the cage. When he faces off with the hard-hitting McGregor who’s riding an 8-fight win streak, Marcus knows he’ll have his work cut out for him. But he’s not the least bit intimidated by McGregor’s resume.
“He’s supposed to be big. He’s supposed to be bad, but I went back and I watched his fights and the guys were just scared of him and it was bad. I don’t even understand how you can be a fighter and be that scared of an opponent. And both of his championship fights he got hit four times in both of his championship fights. Who the hell was the champion? You know what I’m saying? How are you only going to get hit four times and you’re the challenger for the belt? I just don’t understand that,” Brimage stated. “I think they were all scared and I’m not scared. So that’s going to be a big difference for him.”
When Marcus walks out to the cage in the Ericcson Globe Arena, it’s possible plenty of Irish fans will get out to the fight to back McGregor. Regardless of any “home field” advantage McGregor will have, Brimage knows once it’s time to bang, he’ll have his full focus on the bout at hand and nothing else.
“I don’t care about them all my mind is on McGregor and after I whup his ass it’s going to be… then I might start paying attention to the crowd because then I might get jumped and I’m going to have to get my ass out of there really quick. But I don’t care about those guys, the only thing I care about is Conor McGregor,” said Brimage.
UFC on FUEL TV 9 takes place from the Ericcson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on April 6. The main event will be a light heavyweight tilt between Swedish “Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson and Gegard Mousasi.
Marcus is so far beyond what any people give him credit for. He is dedicated, deserving, focused, driven and committed to being successful. He trains with the best because like recognizes like. Bama Beast is just that. If you think anything else at all–you are obviously delusional.