After signing with the World Series of Fighting earlier this year, former MFC middleweight champion Elvis Mutapcic was looking forward to returning to the United States to make a run at the promotion’s championship on American soil.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.
Just hours before he was set to make his promotional debut against Jesse Taylor in the first round of the WSOF middleweight title tournament, Mutapcic found himself out of a fight due to unusual circumstances.
“(Taylor and I) were supposed to fight back in September in Atlantic City, but apparently one of the athletic commission (officials) saw me take some kind of pill or something and they ended up cancelling the fight,” said Mutapcic.
After waiting two months, Mutapcic will finally get to face Taylor on Saturday, Dec. 7, in Vancouver, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy about the delay.
“I put in two camps for one fight,” Mutapcic said. “I’ve got a lot of frustrations that I took out in training camp and I think I have some left over for the fight.”
If there’s any silver lining to the delay, Mutapcic feels he was able to use the time productively and become even more prepared for the fight.
“I just tried to improve more on the things I was trying to improve on for this fight,” he said. “I think I’ll be fighting the same way as I would have the first time, just a little sharper I believe.”
With how difficult he feels the fight with Taylor might go, the extra time may end up being more beneficial than Mutapcic even thought.
“I’ve got to react very fast,” said Mutapcic. “(Taylor is) an extremely fast wrestler, very explosive, and is very dominant. I’ve got to get in my strikes early. I’m going to have to hit him hard and hit him often. The thing for me is to keep it on the feet. If it goes to the ground, I’ve got to look for a submission quick or get back up.”
Not only would a win over Taylor put Mutapcic into the finals of the WSOF middleweight title tournament, he told MMAWeekly.com that it would also help him establish exactly where he needs to be as he faces even tougher competition in the year to come.
“After a win in this fight, I’ll have my title fight. So I think it’s going to push me to the next level, and I’ll be able to concentrate even more on making the changes I need to step up to a higher level than I’m on,” he said. “So this fight is huge for me and it’s very important for me to get a win.”