UFC on FOX 18: George Sullivan Feels “Like That Kid Who Started Fighting Again”
By Kelsey Mowatt
George Sullivan is booked to face Alexander Yakovlev at UFC on FOX 18 this Saturday, and while one could argue there’s a lot riding on the bout, the fighter says he’s pressure free.
If Sullivan defeats Yakovlev this weekend he will move his UFC record to 4-1, and his overall records to 18-4. The only man who has defeated the welterweight since 2011 is the surging Tim Means, who submitted him last April.
Recently Sullivan appeared on Full Contact Fighter Radio, and he was asked if he’s hoping to lock up a fight with a top 15 ranked opponent, provided he defeats Yakovlev (22-6-1). The 34 year-old stated:
“I would love it man. I am dying to test myself,” said Sullivan. “To see Tim Means, the way I see this Tim Means thing, I don’t think I was mentally ready for the pressure of that fight. The change of opponent kind of messed with me a little bit. I was undefeated for four years. It’s tough.”
“I think that pressure’s gone now,” the Kurt Pellegrino student added. “Now I’m excited. I’m having fun again. I’m training better than ever. Sometimes with all the pressure you let it get to you and things aren’t so fun anymore, and now I feel like that kid that started fighting again. I’m having a lot of fun with my career again, the traveling, the exposure. So, I would really like the test of a top 15 guy.”
Means was submitted by Matt Brown in his next outing, but following that, he KO’d John Howard and will face Donald Cerrone on February 21st. When Sullivan faced Means he had won three straight.
Sullivan was also asked if the success of Means has helped take some of the sting out of the loss. The New Jersey fighter stated:
“Ya. Of course. Like I said, losing the fight is not the worst part. It’s the things that you look back, like, with me, I was never nervous before a fight, but the pressure, I was so close to being top 20 because I hadn’t lost in so long. They were like we’ll give you a big fight after this one, and I think all the pressure got to me…You always think you’re doing enough and now I know I wasn’t doing enough. I wasn’t dieting right. I wasn’t weight cutting right. Now I’m doing all those things. It woke me up…”
UFC on FOX 18 will be hosted by the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.