UFC light heavyweight Vinny Magalhães (10-6, 1NC) believes his UFC career could be over if he doesn’t put everything on the line in his next test against Australia’s Anthony Perosh (13-7). A well decorated grappler, who has won several jiu jitsu championships, former M-1 champion, and season 8 Ultimate Fighter competitor has been issued the dreaded pink slip once before, but promises he’ll do everything in his power to avoid being handed his walking papers.
For Vinny, UFC 163?s setting couldn’t be better as the August 3rd event is set to take place in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In his professional MMA career that’s spanned 17 fights in seven years, Magalhães has never fought in Brazil. Having the opportunity to go for broke back where it all started, couldn’t be more fitting according to Vinny.
“A lot of people think like maybe there’s pressure for you to be fighting in your hometown, there’s pressure nowadays like if I go into this fight in lose,” Magalhães stated. ”I was like ‘Dude there’s no pressure, everything’s motivation’. Like knowing that if I lose, I’m going to get cut, that’s like motivation to go in there and win. I have to be sure that I win the fight. Fighting in my hometown, same thing, the motivation. I’m going to have all my friends supporting, which I’ve never had before in my whole MMA career. So it’s going to be awesome, a great experience.”
With his current UFC contract coming to and end, an overall record of 1-3 with the organization, and a loss to Phil Davis in his last outing, Magalhães realized that another poor showing could mean the end of this run with the UFC.
“I think I should always be fighting with that mentality to be honest, so I go in there and perform,” said Magalhães. When you have a guaranteed thing, when you have a guaranteed job – I’m not trying to bash anybody, but there’s guys in the UFC they can lose as many times as they want and the UFC is going to keep them because they bring the fans, they have big names. There’s many guys in the UFC that lose three, or four, or five fights in a row, and they still keep them, but I’m not one of those guys, so I can’t afford to lose. Every fighter should be thinking like that.”
“It’s obvious because the way I performed in my last fight against Phil Davis, I know that I could be cut right now,” Vinny added. “I talked to Joe Silva that same night actually. I texted him like ‘Hey Joe, just let me know if I’m going to have another fight because I know that I didn’t look good tonight – otherwise I’ve got to start to make plans for myself.’ And then that same night he told me ‘No, don’t worry about it. You’re going to have another fight.’ He never said he was going to cut me after my last fight, but he just said ‘no, you’re going to have another fight.’ So, I’m going to take that as my last chance if I don’t win this fight and my contract’s ending.”
With his loss to Davis behind him, Magalhaes will look to get back on track against Perosh. Since both he and Vinny are grappling aces, it could mean the match-up turns into a stand up war. In Vinny’s opinion, that may not necessarily happen, but he’s ready for the fight to go anywhere.
“When wrestlers fight jiu jitsu guys, better grapplers, they try to keep the fight standing because they can’t dictate where the fight goes,” Magalhães explained. ”And I don’t think that’s the case with jiu jitsu guys. That’s all you can do really, is what you do best. You can do a lot of things decently, but what you can do best is grappling – both of us. So I think eventually the fight is going to go to the ground. And if it keeps standing too, I don’t think neither one of us has great enough striking, but I’m also not the guy that’s been knocked out six times in seven losses.”
Magalhães vs. Perosh will take place as part of the FX Preliminary card at UFC 163 on August 3. Headlining the event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s HSBC Arena, Jose Aldo vs. Chan Sung Jung for the UFC Featherweight Championship.