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EXCLUSIVE MMABay interview with Keith Wisniewski ahead of his UFC 145 showdown with Chris Clements

March 31, 2012 All MMA News, Exclusives, Interviews, UFC  Comments 

We continue our run of interviews this month with another interesting chat with a member of the UFC roster, veteran welterweight Keith Wisniewski. We ask him about his upcoming UFC 145 clash with octagon newcomer, Chris Clements, how the sport has changed over the years and his hopes for the future. To find out what he had to say check out the interview on the other side…

Hi Keith,

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with MMABay.co.uk and answer a few of our questions.

Wisniewski – A pleasure.

MMABay – You were last seen in action on the UFC on Versus 6 card in October, coming up short on the night against Josh Neer who won the fight via TKO due to a doctor’s stoppage. What were you able to take from this fight?

Wisniewski – It was a pretty exciting fight, but Neer was busier with his strikes and built up a two round lead on me. I was feeling very fresh going into the last round and wish the doctor would have allowed us to go the third round. I think I need to pull the trigger more in this fight than I did in that one.

MMABay – This was your second fight in the UFC, your first coming back at UFC 56 in 2005. Can you believe how far the sport has come during that period of time and what for you are some of the biggest changes that perhaps people aren’t so aware of?

Wisniewski – I actually began fighting in 1998, and the changes in the sport from that time are pretty amazing. When I first got into the sport there were local shows that did their matchmaking the day of the event from a sign up sheet. I’ve fought on dirt floor rodeo arenas and outdoors behind a gentlemen’s club. The sport has definitely come a long way since then. Also, when I first came into the sport the main focus of most competitors was Jiu-Jitsu/submission wrestling and people were fairly dismissive of wrestling and striking. Now striking is a much larger part of the sport and college wrestler make up about half of the top ten in every weight class.

MMABay – Your next fight comes on the UFC 145 card on April 21st in Atlanta, Georgia where you’ll take on promotional newcomer, Chris Clements. What are your thoughts on Clements as an opponent as you look to pick up your first win inside the octagon?

Wisniewski – He seems very aggressive. He wades right in there throwing big combos. He has heavy hands and looks to be able to push the fight for the full three rounds. I’ll have a little bit of a reach advantage.

MMABay – Clements has fourteen fights under his belt (ten wins) compared to your forty two fights (twenty eight wins), giving you exactly three times the number of fights than your opponent. With this being his octagon debut do you anticipate your experience being a big advantage during the fight?

Wisniewski – I definitely have the experience edge, but I’m not sure that makes much of a difference one way or the other. For some fighters that first UFC fight can be a bit of shock to be under the big lights. He has competed in the IFL and some big Canadian organizations, so we’ll see how he handles that transition.

MMABay – Clements is known as somewhat of a knockout artist with all of his ten wins coming via KO or TKO. After studying his tapes, and knowing your own skill set, where do you see your biggest advantage over your opponent, on the feet or on the ground?

Wisniewski – I always treat every fight the same, I try to win the stand-up and wrestling aspect of the fight and if a submission presents itself I’ll take it. I think my reach and height will be an advantage for me. I think I’ll be strong in the clinch. If the fight goes to the ground I’m very heavy on top.

MMABay – All fighters have different ways to deal with preparing for an opponent. Some choose to focus on their own strengths, some will concentrate on their opponents strengths and other a combination of the two. Which do you fall into when it comes to your fight with Clements and why?

Wisniewski – I definitely focus more on my own strengths. To be honest, I really don’t chance my training camp up much from one fight to the next regardless of opponent,

MMABay – Many fighters have found a new lease of life by moving down in weight recently, especially since the introduction of a number of new weight categories, most recently the 125-pound flyweight division. Having fought at 170 pounds over the course of your career have you ever considered a move to the lightweight division?

Wisniewski – I’m not sure I could make the cut to 155lbs and I haven’t considered it seriously. It would definitely be a huge lifestyle change to try and get down to 155lbs.

MMABay – Just in case some of our readers haven’t seen you fight before can you sum up in a few words what they can expect to see out of you come April 21st inside the octagon?

Wisniewski – I intend to press the action. I don’t mind taking one to give one. I have good ring general-ship and intend to control the pace of the fight and whether it takes place predominantly on the feet or on the ground.

MMABay – Before we go are there any sponsors, trainers or training partners you’d like to mention?

Wisniewski – A big thanks to all my teammates at Duneland Vale Tudo. Also thanks to Iron Bear Fight Gear, Planet Green Cremations, Applied Strength and Conditioning, Lexani, Revgear, and Clinch Gear.

MMABay – Thanks for taking the time to speak to MMABay.co.uk.

Wisniewski – My pleasure

(An exclusive interview for MMABay.co.uk)

By Michael Pepper. (Follow me on Twitter)

Why not tell us what you think about this story and get your thoughts featured in this week’s edition of MMABay Radio? Email Mailbag@mmabay.co.uk, start the subject with the word ‘RADIO MAILBAG’ and we’ll talk about our favourites on the next show.

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