In making his World Series of Fighting debut this past November on their first show, Tyson “Man of” Steele (10-1) knew he was going to be in for a tough fight against Gregor Gracie, but he couldn’t have anticipated how right he’d be early on in the bout.
“I got stuck in a pretty nasty arm-triangle choke early in the fight. I knew going into the fight I was going to be a major underdog in jiu-jitsu against Gregor. I kind of expected it to be coming, but I didn’t expect it to be as much trouble as it was,” said Steele.
“I was able to survive it and I was able drop him with a knee later in the round and from there I finished him with some ground and pound.”
The TKO win over Gracie was Steele’s fourth in a row, which is good, considering how much Steele found out he despises suffering defeat in his only loss, which was to Curtis Demarce at MFC 26 nearly three years ago.
“What I learned from that is how much I hate losing,” said Steele of his loss to Demarce. “Basically I want to do anything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It was a horrible experience and it still kind of bothers me.
“I’m completely different now than I was back in 2010. I don’t think I’m going to fold over very easily at all. I maybe kind of panicked and that was because I wasn’t as experienced in that fight. I don’t think you’ll ever see that again from me.”
Steele will be seeking his fifth win in a row when he returns at WSOF 3 on June 14 live on NBC Sports Network from Las Vegas, when he takes on former Bellator veteran Steve Carl (19-3).
“Steve’s a super-aggressive, tough, gritty opponent,” said Steele. “He’s got a lot of experience, so I expect him to come in with a lot of confidence and really well prepared. He’s going to be a lot bigger challenge than my last fight and I’m expecting a tough match.
“My plan is to stay safe, patient, and attack when I can. He likes to charge in aggressively, so I have to stay safe and weather the storm.”
Word has it that the winner of his bout with Carl will face the winner of Jon Fitch versus Josh Burkman, but Steele told MMAWeekly.com that he’s heard nothing about it and won’t count on it too much heading into his June 14 fight.
“I’ve heard those rumors, but I haven’t been told directly from Ray (Sefo) or the WSOF themselves,” said Steele. “If that’s they’re plan they’ll probably officially announce it after the event.
“I’m always focused going into a fight, and whatever they have planned for me after is a bonus, but it doesn’t really matter too much going into the fight.”