UFC on FOX 10: Daron Cruickshank Says Mike Rio is “Cool”, But Believes Fellow TUF 15 Vet is “One Dimensional”
By Kelsey Mowatt
After having an up and down 2013, Daron Cruickshank is looking to start his 2014 campaign off with a bang, when he takes on Mike Rio at UFC on FOX 10 this Saturday. While Cruickshank scored a decision win over established vet Yves Edwards last year, the lightweight was also defeated by John Makdessi and most recently Adriano Martins. As a result, the noted striker will carry a UFC record of 3-2 into the Octagon on January 25th, when he squares off with Rio.
“You know, it’s a brand new year for me,” Cruickshank relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing 2013 and his goals for the coming year. “Last year was good, but it wasn’t great, and this year, my goal, I’d like to try to get more fights in and I’d like to come out on top of every single fight.”
“I’m constantly trying to get the bonus,” added Cruickshank, who has also defeated Chris Tickle and Henry Martinez in official UFC action. “That’s what I’d like to do; get a couple bonuses in the bank, pay off my student loans, buy a zombie outbreak response vehicle…”
In Rio, Cruickshank will take on a fellow alumn from the 15th Season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, who has gone 1-2 in the UFC since.
“We lived with each other for 13 weeks; we hung out,” said Cruickshank, while discussing Rio and his experiences with him on TUF 15. “He was on the other team, so I never practiced with him or anything, but we would see each other every single day. We weren’t like best friends or anything. Maybe after the fight we’ll be best friends. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
“He’s cool, and there’s nothing wrong with him, it’s just that he’s a different kind of person, as far as my friends,” added Cruickshank. “I don’t know. You have to get to know him and then you’ll figure out whether you like him or not.”
Although Cruickshank (13-4) had nothing negative to say about Rio (9-3), the 28 year-old fighter says he’s thought about fighting the TUF 15 vet for a while.
“Actually I was going to ask to fight Mike, and then, when my managers talked to Joe (Silva), Joe brought it up as it would be a good match-up for me,” said Cruickshank. “Two great minds think alike, and Joe Silva is the match-maker, he’s the mastermind behind the UFC, so he knows best.”
“I just thought it would be a great match-up for me coming off a loss in Brazil,” Cruickshank noted, when asked why he was interested in fighting Rio. “He’s got great wrestling, but I feel he’s just a one dimensional fighter. That’s all he’s got. That’s the only tool he knows how to use. I feel like I’m going to stop his shot, beat him up and take home the win.”
Since Rio submitted John Cofer in the TUF 15 Finale, the former NAIA wrestling champ has been tapped out by Francisco Trinaldo and Tony Ferguson.
“I feel like Mike is a fish out of water on his feet,” Cruickshank furthered. “He’s afraid to strike and I feel like he’s going to press for the takedown the entire fight.”
“As far as wrestling’s involved, I wrestled four years in college, I wrestled all through high school,” the Michigan fighter added. “I took second in the nation, my sophomore year in junior college; I can wrestle.”
UFC on FOX 10 will be hosted by Chicago’s United Center and will feature former lightweight champion Benson Henderson taking on Josh Thomson.