If you want to see a fighter with heart, one who will never back down and will always push forward, look no further than Fabio Maldonado.
Yesterday, Maldonado essentially saved the TUF Brazil 3 Finale event by stepping up in weight on three weeks notice to take on No. 7 ranked heavyweight, Stipe Miocic. Miocic’s original opponent, Junior Dos Santos, was forced off the card due to a hand injury and the UFC needed a Brazilian to step in.
Maldonado discussed the step up in weight in a recent interview with MMAFighting:
I’m weighting 223 pounds now, so weight is not an issue. The issue is timing. Miocic is an excellent fighter with a good wrestling and boxing skills. The ideal would be three more weeks of training to prepare myself, but I can’t choose. I take the opportunities they offer me.
Obviously Maldonado will be a huge underdog going into this fight, but he promises his fans a war:
I will try my best (to knock him out). The only thing I promise the fans is that it’s going to be a bloody, violent fight. I can’t promise the win because anything can happen, but I will do my best.
The TUF Brazil Finale goes down in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 31st.