Rich Clementi’s Got Something to Prove

November 30, 2011

Statistics are not always the measure of success according to former UFC lightweight Rich “No Love” Clementi.

“It was a pretty good year, though my record might not reflect it, to be honest,” he said. “I had a lot of physical issues, and to be honest, a lot of personal issues too.

“I’ve been fighting professionally for 14 years now, and anybody that’s going to do any kind of competitive sport that thinks every year is going to be their best is kidding themselves.”

Having split his last eight fights, Clementi admits that he pushed himself too hard physically at times and it cost him.

“I was really pushing a broken machine and I was breaking it more,” he said. “This past year has been a lot about personal recovery for me. Things are back on track physically for me. I’m strong again. I’m excited to let people to see that.”

Clementi is hoping to build off a successful last fight that saw him dominate Ronnie Rogers a couple weeks ago. He makes his Score Fighting Series debut Saturday night against former IFL fighter Chris Clements in a co-headlining welterweight match-up.

According to Clementi, he feels Clements might underestimate him due to the fact that he fought at lightweight in his last bout and may be undersized. If this is the case, Clements is sorely mistaken says Clementi, “I think that’s truly going to play against him. Once we hit the ground and lock up, he’s going to be surprised.”

While he may be underestimated going into the fight, Clementi is not taking his opponent lightly.

“I respect his punching power, and he knows how to throw a punch,” said Clementi. “By the same token, I’ve never been knocked out in my entire career. I’ve fought some really dangerous strikers, so he’s not the first guy I’ve stepped into the ring with (like that).

“I know what he brings to the table, and I think he’s going to have a little bit harder time with what I have to offer. I think that he’s going to under-sell me a little bit and I think that’s going to be his problem.”

While being mentally and physically in a better place than he has been in recent months, Clementi is also motivated by what he feels is someone getting a step up on him through unscrupulous means.

“Reza Madadi getting put in the UFC is one of the top motivations for me right now,” he said. “That pissed me off so bad that I can’t even tell you what it’s like.

“It aggravates me when a guy I feel I beat is fighting in the UFC. When I think about that, it just fires me up. I’m not focusing on him as an individual, but it is motivating me personally that I should be there, and that type of person should not. That’s the attitude I’m going into this (upcoming) fight with.”

As for his goal for 2012, Clementi wants to get back to the top of the MMA world and make one more run before all is said and done.

“I’ll be honest, I have a lot of pride, and I got cut from the UFC by losing to the two best guys in the division right now after four straight wins in the row, and I don’t know if it’s pride or whatever, but it does bother me,” he said. “I want to get back in the UFC. There’s guys that are fighting in there that I’ve beaten that are doing great, so why should I be in there?

“Between my body being in a bad spot, and my personal life too, it was tough on me. I’m the same individual, but I’m better than I was before, now I’ve just got to let everybody see.”