UFC President Dana White put some pretty big praise on Phillipe Nover while watching his compete on The Ultimate Fighter Season 8.
White proclaimed Nover to be the next Anderson Silva. But, after falling to Efrain Escudero in the finals and dropping his next two UFC fights, Nover was released.
Now, after taking an extended break from MMA to rebuild his career and life, Nover is scheduled to face Jake Murphy in the co-main event of HFC 8 (Hoosier Fight Club) in Valparaiso, Indiana on Saturday.
“I had no income coming in, so I had to fall back on nursing,” Nover said. “I scored a really good job and I had an injury that healed up and now I’m back. I’ve been training for the last seven or eight months.
“I had one (Muay Thai) fight a couple of months ago…but this will definitely be my first (MMA) fight back since 2010.”
Nover (5-3-1) dropped bouts to Kyle Bradley and Rob Emerson while competing inside the Octagon. While he knows this upcoming fight is not the UFC, it is going to take wins in smaller promotions before he gets another crack at the bright lights.
“The UFC is the Olympics of MMA,” Nover said. “You have to really be on your game to fight there. You cannot have any errors when you fight. Everything has to be so precise to be at that level. I wasn’t on that level, but I’m going towards that level.
“I personally don’t think I belong in the UFC right now.”
Nover also knows that the comment made by White probably caused him to be faced with some impossible expectations.
“It definitely added some pressure, but as a fighter there’s all kinds of pressure you have to deal with,” Nover said. “You just have to deal with it. Dana White could’ve said ‘I think this Phillippe Nover kid is awful and I never want him to fight for us,’ or something like that and I would just have to deal with it. I have a lot of hate-fans, too. And I have good fans. I felt the pressure being at that level and those are big shoes to fill, so there was some anxiety there. But in the last few years I did mature.
“It’s not that I’m trying to become the next Anderson Silva or the next GSP (Georges St-Pierre), I just want to be the next Phillipe Nover.”