Igor Araujo fueled by wife’s battle against cancer for UFC Fight Night 37 bout
Igor Araujo had many reasons to celebrate going into UFC Fight Night 37.
The 33-year-old fighter thought he would never had the chance to fight in the UFC after dropping a decision against Colton Smith at The Ultimate Fighter season 16. One win later, he was back.
Araujo took a chance on short notice against Ildemar Alcantara in Brazil, and got his hand raised after three rounds. The fight didn’t play out as he was expecting, but was good enough for him.
"I wanted to strike against ‘Marajo’, but I broke my right foot and fractured my left foot before the fight," Araujo told MMAFighting.com. "I couldn’t walk 10 days before the fight. My coach told me to pull out of the fight, but I couldn’t do that."
Right after he left the cage with the win, Araujo learned that his wife, Mariana, had surgery for cancer. She’s finally healed, and Araujo will have her in the attendance when he steps into the Octagon on Saturday to take on Danny Mitchell at UFC Fight Night 37 in London, England.
"I’m a family guy, so it will be great to have my wife there with me," he said. "Last time I fought she had half of her thyroid removed because of the cancer, and she removed the rest after my last fight. She’s healed. I’ll fight even better with her and my kids with me there.
"And I’ll also have 100 students there in the arena to watch me fight, so I’ll have a lot of people there cheering for me. I’m going to a war."
With more time to prepare and no injuries, Araujo is more than confident against Mitchell, who earns his first shot inside the Octagon after back-to-back submission wins in Europe.
"I started my camp in Geneva, where I live, and finished it in Albuquerque," Araujo said. "It was a great training camp. For my UFC debut I had only four weeks to train, so I’m better prepared to fight this time.
"I knew (Mitchell) before, we almost fought once but it never happened," he continued. "I watched his fights at that time. He’s a good fighter. He doesn’t have a knockout power, but has a good striking game. He has a lot of submission wins in his record. He’s a good fighter, and that’s why I trained hard to beat him. I will be ready for everything."
Fighting for the 32nd time and with 13 wins over the last 14 bouts, the Brazilian welterweight explains how his pre-fight routine prevents the action to be stopped prematurely.
"I always talk with the referee before the fight," he said. "I don’t care about getting punched in the face. I always tell the referee that I’m here to win or die, so don’t stop the fight if the he’s punching me in the face three or four times. I can handle it. I want the win no matter what. I have 31 fights and I train with heavier guys, so I can handle this."
Morning Report: Conor McGregor happy to 'showcase Irish martial artists' against Cole Miller at UFC event in Dublin
With news that the UFC plans to return to Dublin later this year, the only question is how involved featherweight Conor McGregor will be. With just a pair of UFC wins under his belt McGregor is quickly emerging as a major face of European MMA. The Dublin native could teach a Master's class on self promotion. Speaking with Irish outlet Severe MMA, McGregor says he'll be 100% recovered from his torn ACL for the July event.
"I've literally just heard the news and I'm definitely on that card," says McGregor. "July 19th gives me plenty of time, that's nearly too much time.
"I wanted to fight on the Independence Day weekend card in Las Vegas, that's something that I really wanted, but fighting on UFC card in Dublin is a dream come true and I don't give a shit who they put in front of me, I will run through anyone."
McGregor suffered his torn ACL in a victory over Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen last August, putting his potential return just shy of the 11 month mark.
"My knee has healed perfectly and I've already been working really hard in the gym, I've kept myself in good shape. Whoever it is, I'll be ready."
As far as an opponent the early chatter points to 21-8 featherweight Cole Miller, someone who once referred to McGregor as nothing more than a show pony. Miller didn't appreciate some of the Irishman's comments regarding American Top Team teammates Nik Lentz and Dustin Poirier, having called them 'boring' and 'PeaHead' respectively. "I don't like people coming into the UFC, and the guy's got the whole fighting Irish gimmick going on, and he jumps to the front of the line," Miller said back in January. In response, McGregor responded by mockingly offering to sponsor Miller's '16th Facebook fight' in the form of mentioning him in a tweet.
"They're saying Cole Miller are they? It probably is him. I haven't heard anything, I'm sure I'll know as soon as I check my emails, but that sounds alright to me," says McGregor.
"We're gonna showcase Irish martial artists to the world, it will be an amazing event. I want to put on a show for everyone, and that's what I'm gonna do. I told you I'd get there and steal the show, I told you I'd drag the UFC back to Dublin and I told you that my team mates would be on that card with me.
"Honestly, I feel like I can predict the future. I dare you to doubt me. I'm gonna beat whoever they put in front of me in Dublin and then I'm going to go and get that belt."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Lawler > GSP. Johny Hendricks insists Robbie Lawler is a more dangerous fight than Geroges St-Pierre.
Confirmed. Carlos Condit says Nick Diaz did turn down a chance at a rematch of their UFC welterweight interim title bout.
Lose, lose. Does Alexander Gustafsson have anything to gain from beating Jimi Manuwa?
'Sharing the same bag of weed.' Tyrone Woodley thinks Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald should temper their expectations about fighting for the title anytime soon.
Cali TRT. The state of California has taken Nevada's lead and has essentially banned testosterone replacement therapy. "Until the rulemaking process is complete and the regulations are fully adopted, the Commission has a total ban on TRT."
Luke Harris vs. Vik Grujic from TUF Nations.
Joe Rogan started releasing some vlogs with old footage. Some cool behind the scenes stuff from Jones taking the title from Shogun.
Melvin Guilard talks Michael Johnson.
A little GSP screen time.
John Kavanagh talks Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor.
Free fight: Michael Johnson vs. Gleison Tibau.
THE UK[MMA] WRAP UP
UFC Fight Night 37: Forrest Griffin talks retirement, TUF season 1, Silva's return and more
Fan question roundup & Brendan calls out Mark Hunt
Agree with the call?
Carlos Condit has been told by the UFC if he wins at UFC 171, he will get the next shot at the welterweight title #UFC171
— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) March 6, 2014
Read it here.
Join me @reddit_ama At 320 GMT for questions and shit pic.twitter.com/rEQXyFRU7V
— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) March 6, 2014
But no Mark Hunt.
#tbt My clique for last weeks Oscar party pic.twitter.com/tmd513tcla
— Brendan Schaub (@BrendanSchaub) March 6, 2014
Feels good to be training again without restrictions! Hoping to get a fight lined up soon and make my way back to the top of the division!
— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) March 6, 2014
Really bummed/depressed but the back injury I sustained in my accident is forcing me to pull out of the @BellatorMMA tournament...continued
— War Machine (@WarMachine170) March 7, 2014
I have fought my last 3 fights with a torn ACL, a hernia and a torn rotator cuff but this disc injury is too much, can't feel right foot.
— War Machine (@WarMachine170) March 7, 2014
Herniated disc has caused me numbness in right glute/hammy/foot and I can't even flex my calf. Nothing I can do but bow out. I'll be back.
— War Machine (@WarMachine170) March 7, 2014
Spinning strikes. http://t.co/TDZypu90dg
— Cung Le (@CungLe185) March 6, 2014
Right on cue.
Hey @JonnyBones I know you are boys with @kyledake444 what is it with you guys and making excuses to dodge me and @dc_mma
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) March 6, 2014
Magical whimsy shock? Animal cruelty shock? Help us out.
Just went to see the circus with the fam. My first time ever. Iam in shock with some of the stuff I saw. Time to google some ?'s I got.
— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) March 7, 2014
For all the clown shoes.
@JamesZafran hey fuck u clown shoes!!! Nobody said u have to pay or watch it so STFU u whiney puss.
— Dana White (@danawhite) March 7, 2014
Announced yesterday (Mar. 6 2014)
William Macario vs. Neil Magny at UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva
Steve Bosse vs. Ryan Jimmo at TUF Nations Finale
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Michael Shulski.
Poll and Preview of Bellator's Heavyweight Tournament.
This Friday, March 7, marks the opening round of Bellator's Heavyweight Tournament. There are some interesting matchups which, similar to most heavyweight bouts, are likely to end in either slow fought decisions or lightning fast KOs. I preview each matchup below and offer some background.
1) Blagoi Ivanov vs. Rich Hale. Catching the attention of the MMA world with a sambo win over Fedor Emelianenko, Blagoi Ivanov is perhaps Bellator's best heavyweight. Strange that his fight is relegated to the prelims. Ivanov's two appearances in the Bellator cage ended inside of the first round. He made quick work of Manny Lara with a guillotine choke in his debut. In his second Bellator appearance, Ivanov was rocked on the feet by Keith Bell. He nearly instantly recovered and ended the fight with an RNC. He faces Rich Hale. Hale is a fairly technically sound fighter who doesn't appear to particularly excel at any facet of the game. He sports an admirable 26-5 record but is on a two fight losing skid. Ivanov likely takes this fight by submission.
Check out the rest of the post here.
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