Luigi Fioravanti is eager to get things back on track following his gutsy third round stoppage loss to Diego Sanchez back in June of this year. In the fight game, you’re only as good as your last fight and words never rang more true than in the UFC.
The Sanchez defeat killed positive momentum that Fioravanti had generated following impressive back-to-back victories with his most recent coming against cagey UFC vet Luke Cummo. Following the Cummo upset, Fioravanti appeared to be rising fast in the welterweight division.
The American Top Team fighter knows that coming off of a loss in the UFC can be a very dangerous thing. Fioravanti told FiveOuncesOfPain.com in an exclusive interview that he views his upcoming fight with Brodie Farber at the “UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fight for the Troops” card on December 10th as a must win.
What more fitting card for Fioravanti to make his return on than on the first event put on by the UFC where the proceeds will go to those that have served in the military and their families? Fioravanti began serving his country when he joined the marines right out of high school and went on to play a part in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
“I was in the infantry in the Marines and I was the anti-tank assault man,” said Fioravanti. “I had a rocket launcher that I had to carry around. I’d have to shoot if there were any tanks or fortified buildings or anything like that.
“We started in Kuwait in the middle of March and we went from Kuwait up through the middle of Iraq pretty much. We just went from town to town until we got to Baghdad. It was a pretty hectic time in my life. It was a life experience.”
Surprisingly, it was actually during his time with the marines that the heavy handed welterweight first got his introduction to training for mixed martial arts.
“In the Marines we would be watching the UFC or Pride and stuff like that and we would kind of just end up beating up on each other,” said Fioravanti. “We would do hand to hand combat and stuff.
“We would have these little sessions where we would just get in there and fight each other. Just to get used to it in case in case you had to do it in combat.”
Knowing how important the fight with Farber will likely be to his UFC career, Fioravanti has done his homework on his rangy opponent.
“I match up well with him,” said the retired Marine. “I’m the better wrestler and I might have the better ground game. Standing up I’m the shorter guy so he’ll be punching down at me. It’s going to be a lot harder for him to keep his hands up.
“In his last fight with he didn’t have his hands up when he got kicked in the head so I might have to take advantage of that.”
American Top Team is easily one of the best gyms for mixed martial arts on the planet and the benefits that come from training at such a camp will be priceless for Fioravanti when he steps in the octagon to wage battle with Farber on December 10th.
“I’m feeling really good,” said Fioravanti. “My camp’s been intense so I’ve been training really hard. I’ve been training with everybody down at American Top Team. I’ve been training a lot with Yves Edwards, Steve Guerrero, Oboyo, Jorge Santiago. I’ve been focusing a lot on my jiu-jitsu so I’ve been training with a lot of jiu-jitsu guys too.
“I’ve been focusing a lot on my ground game. I’ve been doing a lot of gi stuff. I’ve been trying to get better on the ground and just get better overall with my striking and wrestling as well. I kind of made Diego look good in that last fight. I was supposed to be the guy coming in there and beating him up on the feet but it doesn’t always work out that way.”
The Orlando native has no doubt in his mind how the fight with Farber will end and points to experience in the octagon as a key factor to the outcome.
“I’m visualizing me knocking him out on the feet, taking him down and submitting him or TKO’ing him on the ground,” he said. “I’m more experienced when it comes to fighting in the UFC and I’ve fought tougher guys.”
The powerful 170 pounder makes no bones about how important this fight will be in his fighting career. Never a big fan of losing, the significance of this match up will make his thirst for victory that much more intense.
“Every fight’s a must win fight for me,” explained Fioravanti. “I freaking hate losing, I really do, and this is definitely a must win fight for me.
“Especially to a guy that’s 0-1 in the UFC. The UFC higher ups are going to look at that and be like, ‘Why are we keeping this guy around?’ So it’s definitely a must win fight. It means a lot. I want to go out there and put on a good show for the UFC and my fans. I want to shut some of the critics up and work my way up to title contention eventually.”
There were a few people that Fioravanti wanted to thank for contributing to his mixed martial arts career.
“I want to thank Tapout, American Top Team and all of my trainers at American Top Team and all the guys that have helped me get ready for this fight,” Fioravanti said in closing.