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Coming Off Back-to-Back Losses, Daniel Pineda Knows He Has to Win at the TUF 17 Finale

Posted on by Mick Hammond

34-Daniel-Pineda-UFC-146-weighUFC featherweight Daniel “Pit” Pineda prefers his glass half-full, not half-empty.

After winning his first two fights of last year, he closed out 2012 with back-to-back losses, but he feels overall it was a successful campaign.

“I was 2-2 in the UFC, but I think it went pretty good,” he said. “I’m satisfied where I went, and I just got caught in my last fight (against Antonio Carvalho). I think I’m going to go more old school and do what I’m good at, and that’s wrestling.”

Pineda acknowledges that the competition in the UFC is unlike anywhere else, so changes will have to be made if he wants to get back on the winning track.

“You start fighting guys and everybody is a brown belt or black belt, so you can’t just go in there and pick them up, slam them and beat them up any more,” he said. “You’ve pretty much have to do everything because the guy across from you knows everything too. That’s the cool thing about the UFC, everyone’s well-rounded.

“I’ve just got to be more careful. I’m usually a fighter that goes straight forward, and I’m still going to be like that, I’ve just got to be more careful and pick my shots better.”

Pineda’s opportunity to test out his new strategy will come on April 13 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas when he takes on TUF 15 alum Justin Lawrence at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.

“Everyone thinks he doesn’t have experience, but he said he’s been kickboxing since he was six, and actually has more experience and fights than me in kickboxing,” said Pineda of Lawrence. “To beat him I’ve just got to keep the pressure on him. I think I can break him.

“I think my wrestling is going to be stronger than his, and I have good stand-up too. If he stuffs my shot, then we’re going to stand up. It’s up to him where we’ll have the fight.”

Pineda told MMAWeekly.com that he understands this fight could very well determine his future with the UFC depending on its outcome.

“I do look at it as though I have to win,” he said. “I’m coming off of two losses, so I have to win this fight; I have to.

“I could say that I don’t think about it, but I do. But once the doors close, I don’t think about any of that, I’m just trying to finish him. This is my longest camp for a fight and I feel more prepared for this one, and I’ll prove it.”

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