Keith Wisniewski On Striker Chris Clements: “It Doesn’t Really Matter Who I Fight…”
By Kelsey Mowatt
It took Keith Wisniewski nearly six years to work his way back to the UFC, and now that he’s returned, the resilient veteran plans on making his second run with the promotion an extensive one. Although Wisniewski came up short in his Octagon return last October, when he was unable to continue against Josh Neer due to a cut, the 30 year-old-welterweight remains focused on battling his way into contendership.
“Ideally, if I can string two or three wins together, I don’t think I’m entitled to contention at that point, but I would probably be looking at being put on main cards,” said Wisniewski (281-3) while discussing his aspirations for the coming year. “I realize that I’m probably a few fights away from fighting for a title…but every fighter’s goal is to be the best at their weight class.”
Of course, Wisniewski has demonstrated his ability to handle adversity in the past. As 2007 came to a close, Wisniewski had lost five straight fights, which included a unanimous decision loss to Nick Thompson at UFC 56. The Duneland Vale Tudo fighter renewed his commitment to the sport, however, and proceeded to score six straight wins and a new UFC contract.
“I do think I’ve been training harder,” Wisniewski told Full Contact Fighter. “I was being pulled in a lot of different directions and was working a lot of hours. I was training for those fights, but I wasn’t really peaking for any of them. When you fight at that high of a level and you’re not 100% committed it’s hard to get up and beat the top guys.”
“And to be honest, if you look back at those fights, at least two or three of them could have been wins,” Wisniewski added about the losing streak, which saw him drop split decision losses to Carlo Prater and Erik Oganov, as well as a majority decision to Jorge Masvidal.
Up next, at UFC 145 on April 21st, Wisniewski will look to record his first UFC win when he takes on the Octagon newcomer Chris Clements.
“I don’t follow the sport as much anymore, so I didn’t know his name off hand,” the union iron worker admitted. “I’m definitely pretty familiar with him now. He’s fought for a lot of fairly bigger promotions.”
Although Clements does not possess the extensive resume that Wisniewski does, the 36 year-old-fighter has impressed through demonstrating his stopping power. All ten of the Team Tompkins’ fighter’s wins have come way of TKO or knockout, which includes a stoppage win over Rich Clementi in December.
“He’s very aggressive and doesn’t mind wading in their and taking a punch to give a punch,” Wisniewski noted. “It looks like he has heavy hands; probably has serious knockout power…He looks pretty solid all around and looks to be a dangerous opponent.”
Despite Clement’s documented striking abilities, “The Polish Connection” isn’t ready to concede that his route to victory must come by taking the bout to the mat.
“It doesn’t really matter who I fight. My strategy is pretty much always the same and my camp’s always the same,” Wisniewski said. “I’m definitely impressed with what he brings to the table, and it’s going to be a tough riddle to solve, but I wouldn’t say it concerns me more than any other opponent.”
“I think it’s fair to say I’m a well rounded fighter and that I’m good in all aspects,” the IFL vet furthered. “I do think I’m going to have a bit of a reach advantage and I’m pretty solid at striking from the inside, so I do think some areas of the stand-up game are going to favor me.”