T.J. Waldburger’s last appearance inside the Octagon is something he would rather forget.
Facing Johny Hendricks in March, Waldburger (13-6) suffered a first round TKO, dropping his UFC record to 1-1.
Now, with a fight against Daniel Roberts at this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger on the horizon, the Texas-native has his sights set on righting the ship.
“I threw the sloppiest left round kick in the world. I left my hand down and I didn’t snap it back and come back to my stance. Just a horrible left round kick. He countered with a punch and came back with another one and then the ref called it,” said Waldburger, reflecting on the loss. “Overall, a fight’s a fight. You go in there and fight. I made an amateur mistake and he capitalized on it. I have no excuses for that. I’m going to work on those little details and fix them, but what’s done is done.”
If the fight with Roberts ends in a submission, don’t be surprised. Of Roberts’ 12 career wins, nine of come by submission, while Waldburger has 10 submissions in 13 wins.
“I think I’d be ready to go at a fast pace for all three rounds and at the same time I’m ready to slow him down and play my game too,” Waldburger said. “It’s really about weathering the storm and slowing him down. If he comes out fast then he’s going to wear out fast. It’s really about being the more experienced pro fighter than going in there and getting into it in a flurry and being more amateur.”
Waldburger has been working out with John Moore at The Grappler’s Lair. Moore is Waldburger’s father-in-law and soon-to-be grandfather to his child with Moore’s daughter, Shayla.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere without Grappler’s Lair or John and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Waldburger said. “I’m training harder and training more. I put my work and my effort into this and it’s not easy, but I’m here now and I’m going to keep doing it until I’m told otherwise.”