Strikeforce Challengers 18: Eric Wisely Plans to Make the Most of His Shot

August 12, 2011
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Strikeforce Challengers LogoWhile he may come off as extremely low-key, don’t let Eric Wisely’s calm demeanor fool you; he’s every bit as dedicated as any fighter in the lightweight division.

Wins over veterans Hermes Franca, James Veach, and highly regarded up-and-comer Lance Wipf have solidified a four-fight winning streak that earned him a well-deserved shot against Pat Healy at Friday night’s Strikeforce Challengers 18 in Las Vegas.

“I’m getting to face one of the top guys in Strikeforce, so I feel pretty good,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “I don’t get too excited, but I’m definitely ready to go to the big show.”

Having had over 20 fights in smaller promotions, Wisely feels he’s developed enough to be someone to not be overlooked, especially with the skills he brings to the cage.

“My biggest virtue is that I set a high pace, non-stop and that there’s always action and it’s fun to watch,” he said.

“A lot of guys can’t keep a high pace – I’m not saying everybody – but there are some guys at this level that I feel should be in better shape than they are. With me, its push the pace, wear them out and then finish them.”

Having fought the majority of his career at welterweight, Healy will be the larger of the two fighters Friday night, but Wisely isn’t worried about the size difference.

“I actually do better against taller, bigger guys,” he said. “I think being short, I’ll be harder to shoot in on. For him, clinching is going to be harder (as) my speed is a lot quicker and I’ll be able to move away from him.

“He’s taller, so I’ll have to work around that a little. But I think my striking is better, and my speed and conditioning will definitely be big factors in this fight; especially if it goes to the third round.”

Having made his way to one of the sport’s biggest stages, Wisely expects to face top-tier competition and he plans to stay there.

“They’re looking for guys who can put on a good show and bring in money,” he said. “Obviously I’m going in there to win, but win or lose, I want to have the best fight that night.

“I figure the harder the better. The harder (the opposition) the better you’re doing in your career. Because the tougher they are, the better the fights you’ll have. I hope to make it a home and make a spot for myself in this division and keep moving up.”


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