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Mike Massenzio “100%” Heading Into Bout Against “Big Step Up,” Rousimar Palhares

Looking to make his second run in the UFC more successful than his first, 29-year-old New Jersey native Mike Massenzio will be looking to pick up an impressive victory when he takes on ankle assassin Rousimar Palhares this weekend at UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes.

Traveling to Rio de Janeiro to meet Palhares on home soil, Massenzio is excited to get the opportunity to break into the middleweight upper echelon by scoring a victory over the Brazilian submissions expert.

“It’s a big step up,” he says of Toquinho. “Palhares is one of the best in the world…he’s ranked number ten in a lot of polls, and he’s a deadly guy. But to be the best, you’ve got the beat the best. And I just want to fight the best.”

Massenzio went 1-2 in his last UFC stint, getting cut from the promotion following consecutive defeats to CB Dollaway and Brian Stann. After losing a decision to Krzysztof Soszynski upon being invited back to the promotion, Massenzio dropped to middleweight and picked up a unanimous decision over Steve Cantwell.

Feeling renewed at a lower weight class, Massenzio is excited to kick off a run to the title this Saturday night.

“I’m 100 percent, 150 percent,” says Massenzio. “I just want to fight the best guys. The quicker I beat them, the quicker I get to the top.”

UFC 142 goes down Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; FightLine will be back on the night as usual with our live, ongoing coverage of the event.