UFC 162: Seth Baczynski Talks Brian Melancon, Wrestling and Tipping Hat to Mike Pierce
By Kelsey Mowatt
After closing out 2012 with a decision loss to Mike Pierce in December, Seth Baczynski will look to regain the considerable momentum he had prior to his defeat at UFC 162, when he takes on Brian Melancon. Before Baczynski squared off with the rugged Pierce at UFC 155, “The Polish Pistola” had won six straight fights, and had scored impressive wins over men like Matt Brown and Simeon Thoresen.
“I mean the guy’s tough man,” Baczynski noted about his fight with Pierce on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “He went straight to the hospital. I’ve never hit someone with the kind of knees I hit him with and not knocked them out. You’ve got to tip your hat to him. He did a good job of keeping the fight at his pace. I think I had my hips too high a couple of times. All in all, I just gave up too many takedowns. That’s what it boiled down to.”
“My takedown defense wasn’t there for me that night,” Baczynski furthered. “But I’m sure that if I keep working at it, keep trying and stay in the gym, stay positive about it, that one night when I need it, it will show up for me.”
Of course, Pierce has forged a reputation with hardcore fans and observers, for being one of the welterweight division’s tougher men to fight. The only men to defeat Pierce during his tenure with the UFC are fellow wrestlers Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Johny Hendricks, and all three of those losses were by decision.
“I knew he was tough; I wasn’t taking him lightly at all,” the Power MMA member added. “I know how good Aaron Simpson is and he had just knocked him out, so going into that I knew I was fighting a guy who was very underrated, in that, people weren’t really talking a lot about him because of his style.”
“But that being said, I think it’s more a style that makes people shy away from him than anything else. Just the grinding, the holding, pretty match latching on to you for a fight. He did a really good job of that and I didn’t have an answer for it.”
Baczynski (18-9) hasn’t fought since UFC 155, so by the time he steps into the Octagon on July 6th to battle Melancon, half of 2013 will be up.
“Basically the only reason I didn’t fight is because I had an issue with my neck,” Baczynski relayed. “I had to get that taken care of. It was evident after the Pierce fight…I gave it a few weeks afterwards to rest up, and it started feeling better, but then it got way worse than it was even before that. I just had some physical stuff, I had to let my body rest and get some treatment going.”
While Baczynski hasn’t fought since December, the last time Melancon (6-2) competed was in September, 2011, when he scored a UD win over Felipe Portela, while fighting for Strikeforce.
“I’ve seen some footage, but he hasn’t fought in two-and-a-half years, so we’re kind of taking it all with a grain of salt,” said Baczynski, when asked to assess Melancon’s abilities. “A person can get a lot of new tools in two and-a-half years, so we’re just going to go out, kind of feel him out and see what’s going on with the fight.”
UFC 162 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.