“That’s what the media seems to think,” Vazquez told MMAWeekly.com during preparations for his Nov. 11 showdown with Chad Mendes at WEC 52. “I think it’s laughable. But people just forget what I’ve done or maybe they just don’t remember what I’ve done.”
Vazquez returned to MMA in 2007 after four years away from the sport following an impressive first run that saw him capture King of the Cage gold. He now finds himself the veteran test for an up-and-coming talent.
“There’s no pressure (on me), I’m not the ‘unbeatable prospect’,” said Vazquez. “All the pressure is on Chad Mendes, not on me. I’m going to go out there and do my thing; he’s the one who’s supposed to be the next big thing.”
Vazquez’s confidence is evident as, according to him, he had a very focused training camp in preparation for Mendes.
“My last two fights I worked with Erik Paulson and tried to improve my stand-up, trying to get a different look at the game, and improve my overall skills, but this fight I went back to my wrestling and submission game,” commented Vazquez.
“I couldn’t have had a better camp to figure out how to beat a wrestler.”
In the past, Mendes has been noted for taking fighters down and controlling them to earn wins. According to Vazquez, Mendes won’t be able to use the same game plan on him.
“This entire camp I’ve worked with Antonio McKee, and nobody can do a better job of slowing a fight down and controlling from the top like Antonio does,” he stated.
“(Chad) is not going to bring anything different or better than what Antonio brought. Antonio was having a real hard time holding me down, so I don’t think (Chad) will be able to do it, to be honest.
Vazquez continued, “The more he tries the hold me down, the more he’ll get beat up; and the more he tries to scramble, the more likely he’s going to get caught.”
While some may label some of Mendes’ previous performances as dull, Vazquez isn’t going to let that happen in this fight with so much at stake heading into the UFC-WEC merger.
“We’re going to have an exciting fight, whether he wants it or not,” exclaimed Vazquez. “The more he fights back, the more exciting it’s going to be. If he doesn’t fight back, I’ll just beat his ass.
“Obviously the better performance I have the better the hype machine can do its work when I get to the UFC. So I think it’s not only important to win, but win impressively.”
After a rough start to his WEC career, Vazquez looks to close it out with three consecutive wins. He wants to earn his spot in the UFC and make a run towards not only a title he’s longed for, but also the respect he feels he deserves.
“Let me thank Nutrition 4 Less, Tekin, and all my sponsors at JavierVazquez.tv,” he closed out. “We’re going to be putting up video stuff up on the site throughout the week of the experience leading up to the fight.
“Thanks a lot to all my fans, thanks for your support. I’m looking to finish out a good 2010 with another win.”