Still unheralded, Mike Pierce done being “opening act” after UFC 162

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, UFC Events
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pierceIs there a more unsung fighter in the UFC’s most stacked division than welterweight Mike Pierce? Despite being on a 3-fight winning streak toying with the top 10, he continues to be relegated to, not just the prelims, but to the dreaded Facebook portion of the show.

It’s an odd place for an 11-fight UFC veteran with only three losses in the organization. And it sounds like Pierce is getting tired of it.  “I don’t want to keep being on the undercard or be the opening act,” Pierce told MMA Mania. “That’s not what I want. I want to be featured on the main card and all that stuff.”

He discussed becoming more out there in terms of getting in front of the fans and media a little more. “I don’t think I’ve had enough time in the spotlight to really connect with people, gain the popularity that other guys have and I think that’s what I’ve needed.”

Pierce will next step into the cage with David Mitchell on—what else—Facebook. In fact, he’s the opening fight on the entire card, which naturally Pierce takes personally. If he’s able to defeat Mitchell, we might see Pierce being much more vocal than ever before. He’s even got a couple top tier fighters in the forefront of his mind.

“There’s two guys that come to mind,” he said, “and that would be Jake Ellenberger and Carlos Condit. I think both of those guys are tough and both of those guys can be beat and they’re both really relevant fighters right now.”

That’s a big step up for Pierce. Going from the opening fight on Facebook against unranked Mitchell is a far cry from fighting Ellenberger or Condit. Quite frankly, in my opinion, he’s closer to belonging in the Ellenberger/Condit group than the Mitchell category. He’s not a guy top level fighters are clamoring to face.

Pierce’s last two attempts to make the big jump in the rankings came against Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks. He won both fights—at least according to one of the three judges, dropping tough split decisions in both. That shows his viability in that tier of competition.

As for the Mitchell fight, he wants to send a message. “I want to win in dramatic fashion,” he proclaimed. “I’d really love a TKO or a knockout. Those are the most exhilarating. When you’ve got a guy beat down so bad that the ref decides that he’s gonna pull you off, that’s excellent, or when you feel a punch connect so well that it’s over before the guy hits the canvas, you just get this rush of adrenaline. It’s almost indescribable.”

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