by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
At one point, Travis “Diesel” Wiuff was one of the most dominant fighters in the world. During a two-year span, Travis won 18 fights in a row at the heavyweight level.
Then a decision was made to move Wiuff down to light-heavyweight, and since then it’s been a battle to break even at best.
With five wins and five losses in his last ten bouts Travis knows he has to get back dominant form, especially if he wishes to retain his current PRIDE contract and continue to compete at the highest levels of MMA.
So tonight at the American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas, Wiuff looks to take the first step back towards dominance as he takes on Arthur Cesar “GoGo” Jacintho for the new 230lb limit IFC Americas Cruiserweight Championship.
“I don’t really know anything about him other than he’s got a good ground game,” admitted Travis of his opponent this Friday. “I’ve seen his record, I haven’t seen any video on him, other than that, I don’t know too much.”
Wiuff continued, “I’ll just go out there, bang, have fun and try to come home with a win. I’m kind of getting sick of losing, so I thought I’d try this winning thing, I’ve heard it’s a lot more fun.”
One of the reasons Travis feels the last couple years have not been as kind to him as the previous ones, is the issue of weight.
“I’m getting sick of losing, so I’m trying to get back on track and the first step to that is going back up to heavyweight,” exclaimed Wiuff. “I tried to do light-heavyweight, tried 205 and I just don’t fight well when I cut weight.”
“I probably say 90% of fighters fight better when they cut weight, maybe more than that, but I don’t think I do. We thought we’d try it. We thought it’d work. It didn’t, so we gave it a shot, but I’m going back up at heavyweight,” added Travis.
When it comes to his opponent tonight, Arthur Cesar Jacintho, Wiuff feels that recent work he’s been doing on his game will ultimately lead the fight to where he wants it to go, and then the win.
“I want to keep it standing, at least for the first round,” said Travis. “I’ve been working a lot on my stand-up. I actually hired a boxing coach for the first time in my career.”
Wiuff continued, “I’d like to keep it standing make him tired, use a lot of knees inside, knees to his legs, body and dirty boxing. Once he’s tired and worn out in the second and third round, take him down and ground ‘n pound him out.”
Recently when the UFC acquired PRIDE, one of the fighters who were in the midst of a multi-fight deal was Travis, and according to him, he’s excited about the prospects the new ownership presents.
“I’ll fight anywhere,” exclaimed Wiuff. “As far as people seeing you, the UFC is huge; everybody talks about the UFC now.”
“So I’d definitely like to get back in the Octagon and see how I do with the heavyweights in the UFC division. I just want to fight. I don’t care if it is in a ring in Japan, a cage in Las Vegas, or a back alley in Chattanooga, Tennessee; I just like to fight and compete,” added Wiuff.
First things first, Travis has to get past Arthur Cesar Jacintho tonight in Corpus Christi, Texas if he hopes of making a good impression and prove his future is above light-heavyweight in the biggest MMA promotions around.
“I want to thank Monte [Cox] for helping me out, managing me, “said Wiuff. “I have a good group helping me out here in Rochester, Minnesota, called Fourth Street Boxing gym that I work out with, and I want to thank everybody there for helping me out.”
Travis concluded, “I definitely want to tell the fans in Texas to come down and check out the show. It’s going to be exciting, a lot of action, and it’s going to be fun. I want to make it exciting and show the fans that heavyweight is where I belong. I can do some damage at heavyweight and I’m ready to go.”