UFC on Fox 7, coming up Jan. 19 at São Paulo’s Ginásio do Ibirapuera Arena, features a Brazilian in every single fight on the card, from big-name stars to up-and-comers looking to carve out a place for themselves in the international MMA scene.
One such beast is middleweight Ronny Markes, who will be locking horns with unbeaten knockout artist Andrew Craig. Markes (13-1), a native of the Northeast Brazilian city of Natal, where he trained under Jair Lourenço, sat down for a talk with GRACIEMAG.com at Academia Upper, the Rio de Janeiro headquarters of his team, Nova União. The fighter, who had an inactive spell due to injury, explained what he expects in the fight.
GRACIEMAG.com: How did the first part of your preparations go in Natal, and how is this final stage going for your fight at UFC São Paulo?
RONNY MARKES: I started my preparations in Natal, when I was released to do so after recovering from a broken hand. I gained a lot of weight because of the medication but started dropping back down again once I started training. I got to train with [Junior dos Santos], which turned out to be a great exchange of experience — one that upped my pace in training. As soon as they made the fight, I spent a week with him up in the Northeast and then headed down here to Rio de Janeiro to do my training camp. Now we’re a bit more concerned with cutting weight, but I’m confident I’ll be ready come weigh-in day.
GM: Has cutting weight been going alright?
RM: It’s never alright, is it? There’s no such thing as being fine with cutting weight because everyone likes to eat, don’t they (laughs)?
GM: And what are your thoughts about your opponent, the undefeated Andrew Craig? What can we expect from this fight?
RM: He’s a been shooting up the ranks in the division, fighting better every time. But I’m like that, too. The guy has two wins in the UFC, eight in all in his career, and he hasn’t lost once. He’s knocked out two Brazilians [Rafael Sapo and Rodrigo Pinheiro], but I’m here to break that hex and bring the win home to our country. He’s a dangerous guy who doesn’t wilt under pressure. We’re similar in that respect. I took a knockdown last fight [against Aaron Simpson] and bounced back on the attack. I’ll be ready to neutralize his game, put my game plan to practice and be victorious.
UFC on FX 7
Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil
January 19, 2013
- Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
- Daniel Sarafian vs. CB Dollaway
- Gabriel Napão vs. Ben Rothwell
- Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Godofredo Pepey vs. Miltinho Vieira
- Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig
- Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz
- Edson Barboza vs. Lucas Mineiro
- Iuri Marajó vs. Pedro Nobre
- Wagner Caldeirão vs. Roger Hollett
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