Former skilled kickboxer Riddell (9-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) takes on 2007 NCAA Division I wrestling champion Gregor Gillespie (13-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) at Saturday’s occasion on the UFC Apex. The night time’s fundamental card airs on ESPN following prelims on ESPN2.
It’s an absolute conflict of types, and Riddell stated he’s excited in regards to the potentialities.
“We’re like polar opposites proper? It’s like who will get to construct off their talent first,” Riddell instructed reporters, together with MMA Junkie, at a Wednesday media day forward of the occasion. “I believe it’s far simpler to discover ways to rise up and get again to placing than attempt to catch as much as a really, very high-level striker, in order that’s an enormous focus of mine. I’m actually excited to struggle Gregor and see the place my wrestling is in opposition to like, an All-American. That’s like the top right here, and it’s going to be cool to check myself in opposition to that.”
It’s an enormous second for the 29-year-old Riddell, a member of New Zealand’s famed Metropolis Kickboxing crew. It’s his first profession struggle in Las Vegas, and the competition serves as Saturday’s co-main occasion on ESPN. Add in the truth that Gillespie sits at No. 13 within the newest USA TODAY Sports activities/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings, and “Quake” says it’s all upside for him.
“Every little thing this week is particular now as a result of I’m like co-main occasion, combating a ranked man,” Riddell stated. “I get to struggle in Vegas, and that’s three fairly cool issues.”
How cool it will likely be on struggle night time stays to be seen. In any case, along with his placing benefit, he could possibly be taking a look at a highlight-reel end. Nonetheless, Gillespie’s dominant wrestling might additionally show for an awfully troublesome night time, as properly.
“I’m absolutely ready for each,” Riddell stated. “I spent a camp getting ready for one of the best Gregor, and one of the best Gregor is nice at getting you down and holding you down, so I’m clearly going to keep away from that each one prices and keep on with my bread and butter.”
If Riddell can ship, it is going to certainly be an enormous second in his profession. Unbeaten within the UFC, delivering a victory over a ranked opponent – massive accomplishments on their very own. However Riddell believes that if he can present the world that placing is just a part of his recreation, he could make some actual waves at light-weight transferring ahead.
“I do know lots of people didn’t wish to struggle Gregor, so I used to be greater than eager,” Riddell stated. “Throw me that bone. I’ll eat it.
“I’ll get this win, after which in opposition to a wrestler of that caliber, it’s going to make lots of people above in these rankings just a little nervous, I believe.”
To see the complete media availability with Riddell, try the video above.