The newly humbled Efrain Escudero seems revitalized since his recent loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22. Although Escudero weighed in a full three pounds heavier than the allotted 156 pound weight limit, 'Hencho En Mexico' claims that when it was time to step into the cage, he was all eye of the tiger.
"Everything was going perfect in the locker room. We were ready, we did everything we had to do, my mind, everything was set but I don't know. When we stepped into the octagon I didn't throw. I could see some opportunities to unload but my body just didn't want to throw."
That's typically what happens when you don't properly prepare yourself and spend your time making YouTube videos tasering your friends. I know he was playing a game of musical chairs in terms of opponents leading up to this match, but he did know he would be fighting someone. That someone may very well be the reason we saw the Escudero we did. Clearly not buying into the hype of UFC newcomer Charles Oliveira, Escudero seemed pretty confident about how he stacked up with the 20 year-old.
Prior to the fight he told MMA Weekly-
"There's a lot of footage out there on him. We've got people who rolled with him and people have been down there from Brazil. I'm not worried about what he's going to do."
Well, since that statement Oliveira choked him out and won their fight. Escudero looked uncomfortable throughout, and couldn't establish any sort of rhythm. In fact, the only time he seemed to be controlling the fight was due to a mistake by Oliveira. The young Brazilian decided to try to pull guard in the last minute of the first round, sort of a dumb move essentially giving Escudero just enough time to possibly steal the round with some big elbows. Even after the loss, Escudero reaffirms his stance about knowing exactly what he was in for.
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"I haven't watched the tape yet, I haven't seen the fight but no, he didn't really surprise me. I knew he was going to come out swinging and that's exactly what he did. He didn't surprise me. He stood in there and I knew when I threw he was going to block up high and my game plan was to go out there and make him react to my punches, work on the body and when I saw those openings I just couldn't let it go. I don't know what happened."
Escudero has dropped two of his last three fight by submission, a slick arm bar from Evan Dunham back in January and again Wednesday night to Oliveira via rear-naked-choke. I would probably go ahead and start there.
"No regrets on my preparation. I just have to go out there and make sure to not bring it home with me. Yesterday I couldn't sleep all night. I knew I was physically stronger and I knew this guy's jiu-jitsu wasn't as good as everyone was making it out to be"
"I was being too friendly to him, I was being too nice. I'm done being nice to my opponents. Yeah we are cool, but its a fight and I will try to hurt every opponent from now on."
Speaking of being nice, Oliveira told MMA Junkie how he plans on spending both of his $40,000 bonus checks he's amassed since joining the UFC seven weeks ago-
"I'm hoping to soon buy a new house for my family," "We have a large family of eight people, including my grandmother, and I want to make sure and take care of them."
Sounds like a plan.
As for Escudero, back to the drawing board he goes. Losses to Dunham and Oliveira won't hurt his stature beyond repair, but he needs wins over better fighters than Dan Lauzon. Oh, and spend more time trying to make weight,less time tasering friends.