Terrion Ware On Going Behind Enemy Lines at UFC Moscow
This weekend marks the fourth fight in the UFC for Terrion Ware. While things haven’t always gone his way at the top levels of the promotion, Ware is confident of his rebound and rise through the bantamweight division. Being a fast and exciting to watch fighter, Ware takes on Merab Dvalisshvili at UFC Moscow this weekend. We took some time to sit down and talk with “Flash” about his upcoming fight!
Martial arts have been a long-standing passion for Ware. “I kinda grew up with martial arts my whole life. In high school, I played traditional sports. Baseball was my main thing. I played one year of minor league baseball for the Dodgers and blew out my shoulder. Started looking for something to do and decided to play semi-pro football. Terrible idea. Tore my MCL, broke my hand, sat on the couch for a year, got fat. I had been watching the UFC for a while. So, I figured these guys were in shape and there was a gym opening up near my house. I decided to go give it a try. Went and took the first couple classes there. The rest is history, now I’m competing in the UFC.”
Terrion Ware also feels like being a multi-sport athlete has helped him a lot in his mixed martial arts journey. “Athleticism in general helps. MMA is where the best fighters are. You have a combination of skill sets. But they also have that athleticism. Being able to play at a pretty high level in baseball and football really transferred over. But, also just being around a tightly run business in general, like learning to be a professional, showing up on time, doing things that are required of you. I think that carries a lot of weight and I think that has definitely carried over into my fighting career.”
Ware is going behind enemy lines by fighting in Moscow, Russia. This is an experience “Flash” is very much looking forward to. “It’s tight, you know? For me, I’m a die hard Rocky fan and I’m a die hard Blood Sports fan. I grew up watching those movies and watching my heroes go across the world and fight guys in their home country and getting it done. Now, I’m kinda living that in real life and I’m excited to go over there and get the job done.”
Dvalishvili is a tough opponent, but Ware is concentrating on doing his job and making himself better ahead of his fight in Moscow. “I don’t really do too much to cater to my opponent in terms of what they do, it’s more of what I do. You pick up on tendencies when you watch your opponent compete and you want to be able to compare to whatever their best skill set is and also being more prepared for that.”
“Watching him, he likes to grapple a lot. So, I’ve brought in a lot of jiu jitsu guys I’m working with and some Division I wrestlers as well. I’m trying to get those lumps in the grappling department, but I’m trying to stick to my guns as well in terms of what I do. Just adding little things here and there. I’ve got a lot of people reaching out to me in the grappling department wanting to help me out, and it’s been really cool getting those people to help me out.”
Mindset is everything
Ware has been put through the ringer coming into the UFC. Taking on Cody Stamann, Suga Sean O’Malley, and Tom Duquesnoy back to back to back is a strain. Ware is confident he’s getting back in the win column with this fight in Moscow after those bumps in the road behind him. “I got to get it done, man. Went into the last fight with Tom [Duquesnoy] and that was the mindset. No matter what, I’ve got to win. I got to figure out a way to get a win. You know, I think of that fight and I thought I did enough. The judges didn’t see it that way. Luckily, Sean Shelby thought I did enough and gave me another opportunity. I’m grateful for that.”
“It’s just that mindset. Going in there with the killer instinct and getting it done. Not leaving anything behind, go balls to the wall and do whatever I got to do to get that victory.”
On UFC 229
The MMA world has it’s eyes set on the next matchup: Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor. Here’s Terrion’s take on that:
“I keep going back and forth, man. I’m listening and hearing other people’s predictions, and hearing other people’s breakdowns. One guy makes a point for Khabib, another guy makes a point for Conor. I’ll say, since the fight has been announced, and even since Conor moved to the lightweight division, I’ve always kinda leaned towards Khabib. I think it’s more likely that Khabib will take Conor down that Conor would knock him out. I’m not saying Conor can’t knock him out, I just think it’s more likely that Khabib will take him down. But every time you bet against Conor, he seems to come out and pull it out.”
“I just see [Khabib’s] pressure, his ability to get guys to the ground. They just don’t get up, you know, high level guys haven’t been able to get up. But, if anyone can do it, it’s Conor. His movement, his speed, his footwork I think can cause Khabib some problems. If Khabib can’t avoid that left hand, we saw in the Michael Johnson fight, he got rocked. Also the Al [Iaquinta] fight, he was shooting from very, very far away. He can’t do that with Conor. He’s going to have to close that distance and avoid that left hand. If he can’t do it, it will be a long night for him.”
Yeah, we can’t pick a winner either.