UFC’s Seth Baczynski: “I Feel I Can Beat Anybody in the Welterweight Division”
“Trying Not to Get Too Emotional” About Fighting Mike Pierce
By Kelsey Mowatt
As a result of fighters like Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald and Johny Hendricks working their way up the UFC welterweight rankings, some observers have possibly looked over the recent run of Seth Baczynski. Since returning to the UFC the Arizona fighter has scored four straight wins, and although Baczynski isn’t in the contender conversation just yet, a victory over Mike Pierce on December 14th could change all that.
“I asked for a top ten guy after I beat Lance Benoist, and I didn’t get it,” Baczynski said on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently while discussing what a victory over the highly regarded Pierce may lead to. “I understand that the UFC is a performance based show, you know, so I’m just chipping away just trying to beat everyone that I can, but of course I want a top five guy. I feel that I can beat anybody in the welterweight division.”
The 31 year-old vet is coming off a win over Simeon Thoresen at UFC 152 in September, to extend his winning streak to seven.
“If I beat Mike Pierce then I deserve to fight some bigger name guys,” Baczynski (18-8) furthered. “The bottom line is, like I said before, I don’t care if I have to win 20 in a row to get where I want to go. That’s what I’m going to do. If they don’t give it to me now I’m just going to keep winning until I do.”
Of course, one of the key reasons the upcoming UFC on FX 6 bout with Pierce (15-5) is so pivotal, is because of the welterweight’s resume and abilities. To date, the 32 year-old Pierce has gone 7-3 in the Octagon, and the only men to defeat the Oregon fighter are current or former number one contenders in Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Johny Hendricks. The defeats to Koscheck and Hendricks came by split decision.
“Any fighter I fight at this point is going to pose a problem somewhere,” said Bacyznski, who has also earned wins over Clay Harvison and Matt Brown since returning to the UFC in 2011. “I was excited to get this match-up because he’s a good fighter. It’s a good test for me. He’s fought some top notch competition and some fights could have gone either way.”
Originally, Baczynski was scheduled to fight Kyle Noke at the upcoming December 14th card in Queensland, Australia, but an injury pulled the Aussie fighter from the card.
“I was just excited he took it and stepped up,” Baczynski added. “I’m excited to go out and try all the stuff I’ve been working on.”
Much of Pierce’s success to date stems from his wrestling background, which includes competing for Portland State University.
“I’ve spent a lot of practices getting slammed on the mat at the Arizona, ASU, wrestling room with (Ryan) Bader, CB (Dolloway) and (Aaron) Simpson, all those really good wrestlers,” Baczynski noted. “So it’s going to be interesting to see if all that pain and suffering did something, you know?”
While there is lots riding on the upcoming bout for both men, another interesting storyline to the fight, is that Pierce is coming off knockout win over Baczynski’s aforementioned, Power MMA teammate, Aaron Simpson.
“He taught me a lot of things when I first started training with him, on how to be a pro. He’s 36 or 37 years old, he’s in incredible shape…to see how much he dedicated his life to being an athlete and working hard, putting in the time, I’ve learned a lot from him,” Baczysnki said about Simpson.
“Of course I want to go get the win for him, but it’s going to be business, and I’m trying not to get too emotional about it. At the end of the day, if you lose your composure as a professional, it’s probably the worst thing you can do.”