by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy BodogFight)
Kyacey Uscola is up against a wall, and he knows it.
After debuting for BodogFight last year with an impressive performance against Trevor Prangley, which led to the fight becoming the showcase battle of Season One of the promotion’s ION Television series, Uscola appeared to be on track to become one of the company’s flagship fighters.
A win over Pride veteran Akira Shoji in a King of the Cage event in October added to a three-fight winning streak as Uscola returned to BodogFight with back-to-back wins in December and February.
Then things unraveled.
An upset loss in his hometown of Boise, Idaho to Chilo Gonzalez was followed by a defeat at the hands of former Pride fighter Gerard Mousasi, leaving Uscola in desperate need of a win heading into the main event of this upcoming Saturday’s Sportfight event in Portland, Ore.
“It’s extremely important (to get a win),” he admitted of this weekend’s fight against Chael Sonnen. “My Bodog contract is pretty much on the line.
“If I win this fight I’m sure they’ll ante up and make sure I’ll be with them next year, but if I lose then it’s up in the air.”
Being under the gun is one thing, but having to rebound against top tier opposition is another.
“I think Chael Sonnen, in my mind, is a top ten fighter,” commented Uscola. “A lot of guys that know MMA know that Chael Sonnen is definitely in the top ten of the division as well.”
If anything, Uscola feels that ebb and flow of fighting will eventually turn back in his favor, and there’s no better catalyst for that than this fight.
“I’ve had some unfortunate bouts these last couple fights,” he explained. “I’ve been winning both of them, and then things just happen.
“I’ve had some bad luck in the past, but it can’t happen forever. Sometime it has to change, so I think I’ll catch Chael.”
As for the fight itself, Uscola knows he must get momentum in his favor early if he hopes to neutralize Sonnen’s asphyxiating fighting style.
“The match-up itself is grappler vs. striker,” he said. “I have enough grappling ability to make it a striking game. I think I can keep him off of me and impose my will on him.
“Having the fight standing up is what I want to do, Of course, Chael’s known for taking guys down and pretty much ‘laying and praying’ on them. I don’t want it to be a boring fight. I want to stand on my feet, keep him off of me and throw bombs.”
Should things go well against Sonnen this weekend at Sportfight, things could very well work themselves out to setting up a rematch against a former foe and current champion.
“I think if I beat Chael, they’ll probably give me one or two more fights, and then it’s me and Trevor again,” commented Uscola. “But I have to keep winning. I can’t keep slipping up like I have in the past.”
Feeling like it is now or never, he is motivated to go out and not only win, but do so in impressive fashion at this weekend’s Sportfight event and secure his future in the sport.
“I’d like to thank the Lion’s Den, they’ve been treating me well out here. I’ve been training out here for a while now. I moved out here. This is my home now,” closed out Uscola. “I’d like to thank Tapout, Fairtex, and BodyBuilding.com, and everybody that’s participated in preparing me for this fight.
“I’ve excited you guys in the past out in the Northwest and I definitely want you guys to come watch the show, it should be fireworks. I’ve had some good luck in Portland in the past, that’s where I started my amateur career, and I hope to keep it going.”