Article

Brad Tavares: A Secret No Longer

"I’m on a four fight win streak now, with a win over Larkin, it has to propel me into the top ten, and if not, at least a crack at somebody in the top ten." - Brad Tavares
UFC middleweight Brad TavaresWhen it comes to Brad Tavares, let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. Yes, he still fights for the UFC. In fact, he’s in the UFC Fight Night co-main event slot this Wednesday against Lorenz Larkin. But that’s the stuff you can deal with when you’re a soft-spoken, all-business fighter like Tavares. Sometimes you just operate under the radar.

“It’s funny, a lot of people still ask me if I’m still with the UFC and stuff like that,” said Tavares, whose under the radar status (which is likely to change in a couple days) hasn’t stopped him from putting together a four fight winning streak in the Octagon. “I’ve been fighting, I’ve been winning, but it is what it is. Unfortunately I haven’t got the fights won in the way I like with the finishes, but I’m happy with the victories I’ve had. I watched the fights and I don’t think any of them were boring. I’ve had many people – fighters, fans – say that they enjoyed the fights a lot, and besides a finish, that’s all you can really ask for.”

He’s right, and consecutive decision wins over Dongi Yang, Tom Watson, Riki Fukuda, and Bubba McDaniel have put the Hawaiian on the verge of the middleweight top ten, even if he’s not making a lot of noise with his mouth or by way of some spectacular finishes.

“I try to let my fighting do the talking,” said Tavares, whose last finish was a 2011 knockout of Phil Baroni at UFC 125. “There’s nobody in this division I don’t think I can beat. I know people put a lot of emphasis on finishing fights and stuff, and hey, every time I go in there I want to finish a fight. I don’t want to go in there and win a decision. If I could get in there, touch gloves, and with the first punch knock somebody out, I’m happy. That’s 14 minutes less I have to work, so why wouldn’t I want that? I’m a simple guy, I’m happy with the victory, I believe I’m still young in this sport, I’m slowly coming up, and I’m gonna keep fighting, keep winning, and no matter what they won’t be able to deny me.”

Yet despite not making magazine covers or having 800 interviews plastered over the internet, people are paying attention to the 26-year-old. More importantly, the right people are paying attention, hence his co-main event status this week against Larkin, a former Strikeforce standout who wasn’t too pleased with the off-TV placement of his bout against Chris Camozzi last November. His response? An exciting back-and-forth slugfest that got him bumped up for his match with Tavares. And yeah, this one has all the makings of a Fight of the Night.

“I’m not one to lay and pray or wall and stall,” said Tavares. “I’m there to trade and make it exciting, and Larkin is that exact same type of fighter. So there’s no way that I can see this fight being boring or anything close to that. The styles that we both possess, it’s going to make for a fun fight and I think that the fans will be pleased with it. I think that’s why they put us in the spot that we’re in, in the co-main. If it wasn’t for two ranked middleweights (Luke Rockhold and Costas Philippou) being in the main event, they’d probably put us in the main event.”

Regardless of placement, a five fight UFC winning streak is nothing to overlook, and that’s where Tavares will be on Thursday morning if he turns back Larkin. And while he knows a top ten spot isn’t guaranteed with a win, he should at least be in the conversation at 185 pounds, with another win certainly putting him within striking range of a title shot.

“I’m on a four fight win streak now, with a win over Larkin, it has to propel me into the top ten, and if not, at least a crack at somebody in the top ten,” he said. “And then once I beat him, then another guy, and I’ve got to be right there in title contention.”

Just saying it, you can hear the excitement level in Tavares’ voice go up, and since he entered the Octagon in 2010 after his stint on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, that belt is what he’s been chasing. To know a shot at it could only be a few wins away, that’s some heady stuff for any fighter, but not something he can’t let overwhelm him. Not yet, and especially not now.

“It means everything,” he said. “That’s the end game in this, that’s the goal. The Holy Grail is to have that gold strap around your waist. But I’m not gonna go looking past Larkin. He’s way too dangerous an opponent for me to do that. I respect the guy, I enjoy watching him fight, and I know he’s gonna bring it. So right now, first and foremost, that’s what I’m focused on.”

Watch Past Fights

미디어

최근
UFC 해설자 조 로건이 UFN 라스베이거스 대회 메인이벤트 토마스 알메이다-코디 가브런트 5라운드 대결에 대해 살펴본다. 대회는 폭스스포츠 1 채널을 통해 무료로 중계되며, 라스베이거스 만달레이 이벤트 센터에서 열린다.
2016. 5. 26
UFC 밴텀급 토마스 알메이다는 무패 전적을 유지하며 체급 랭킹 10위권으로 진입하기 위해 수없이 많은 땀을 흘렸다. 알메이다는 이제 UFN 라스베이거스 대회에서 코디 가브런트를 맞이하며 정상을 향한 여정을 계속한다.
2016. 5. 26
토마스 알메이다가 UFC 특파원 아만다 살바토의 인터뷰에 한다. 알메이다와 살바토는 함께 경주차량에 탑승해 직접 차량을 몰아본다. 현재 무패행진 중인 알메이다가 노리는 것은 이번 일요일 코디 가브런트를 꺾고 21승 무패 전적을 기록하는 것이다.
2016. 5. 26
동부 오후 9시 서부 오후 6시 UFN 라스베이거스 대회가 막을 올린다. 코디 가브런트 vs. 토마스 알메이다 대결이 메인이벤트다. 헤난 바라오-제레미 스티븐스 대결을 비롯해 다양한 경기가 준비되어 있다.
2016. 5. 26