Losing an opponent just over a week away from a title fight is never easy. However, Superior Cage Combat middleweight Bristol Marunde wasn’t too fazed when Elvis Mutapcic was forced out of their middleweight title fight set for Friday night in Las Vegas and former UFC fighter Jay Silva stepped in.
“The change is not a big deal for me,” he said. “The fight is more about what I’m doing and how I feel (rather than what my opponent is doing).”
As Marunde explained, going from Mutapcic to Silva is not a huge leap.
“It’s not going to be any easier or harder fight for me,” said Marunde. “It’s a good fight for me to face a former UFC fighter, but Elvis is pretty tough as well.
“Jay is a southpaw and that presents a little bit of change, such as my foot movement, but as far as fight styles, they’re both pretty similar.”
When it comes to his strategy for Silva, Marunde anticipates the fight playing towards his strength: the ground game.
“We have very different styles, Jay and I, so it should be a very interesting fight,” said Marunde. “Jay represents a little bit of a threat on his feet, and I’m sure he’s been working on his ground game long and hard in the gym, but it takes years and years of practice to be able to defend one of my takedowns.
“Is Jay going to hit the mat? Yes. Jay is going down and I’m ending up on top!”
Silva recently told MMAWeekly.com that one of the things motivating him was that Marunde’s father allegedly predicted a win for his son in the third-round via a direct Facebook message.
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Marunde. “Honestly, I really don’t pay attention to what’s going on Facebook. I’m really focused on the fight and what’s right in front of me.
“This fight is a real test for me and I’m taking it very serious and it’s all work for me right now. I’m going into it with a laser beam focus. I’m not really interesting in anything outside of me and Jay being in the cage.”
With an opportunity to take a title in the SCC on Friday, Marunde is at the high point of his career, and he feels it can only contribute to the achievement of his ultimate goal.
“I feel like I’ve been putting in the time and the film work and everything is coming together,” he said. “It’s the perfect storm for me. I’m ready to demolish people, not just go to decisions or be mediocre. I want to go big or go home.
“After this, I hope (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva calls me and offers me a fight. I want to be on the biggest stage. I want to fight in the biggest promotion. I want to be a main event fighter and a consistent earner for the UFC and take big paydays and win belts.”