UFC: Despite finishing Frankie Edgar, Gutierrez refuses to ‘look too far ahead’ - Hindustan Times

UFC: Despite finishing former champion Frankie Edgar, Chris Gutierrez refuses to ‘look too far ahead’

Apr 15, 2023 09:58 PM IST

Chris Gutierrez secured a knockout win over former champion Frankie Edgar in November last year and is currently on a eight-fight winning streak.

Knockouts in the MMA circuit or any other combat sport are fondly celebrated and the buzz created by the latest episode involving fiercest rivals Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira certainly justifies the claim. However, there are instances when the same gets a cold response and UFC bantamweight fighter Chris Gutierrez is familiar to such hostility. His knockout victory over Frankie Edgar in November last year, following which the former lightweight champion also retired, saw him get loud jeers.

UFC bantamweight fighter Chris Gutierrez(Twitter)
UFC bantamweight fighter Chris Gutierrez(Twitter)

Guiterrez in an exclusive interview with hindustantimes.com shared his thoughts on the jeers at a sold-out Madison Square Garden, his upcoming fight against another veteran Pedro Munhoz and why he is not thinking about the title at the moment. Here are the excerpts:

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Starting with your upcoming fight. How pumped are you to meet Pedro Munhoz and what sort of challenge do you expect from him?

It's a good opportunity for me to keep moving up the the rankings. Pedro is a very respectable opponent, big tough. So I'm expecting a very tough Pedro Munhoz. But he's not gonna do anything that I haven't seen before. So I'll be ready for it.

You and Pedro share contrasting records. While you're unbeaten, he's struggling to get back to win column. So do you take this as an added advantage heading into the fight?

I take this fight like any other fight, only difference is now it's a notable opponent Pedro Munhoz. Everyone knows who he is, what he's done and what he's capable of doing.

Out of the eight wins, where do you place your win against former champion Frankie Edgar, whose career you literally finished…

It's definitely my biggest win till today. Being the opponent, being the place that it was at, Madison Square Garden; sold-out. So yeah I would say that probably was my biggest win so far.

When you defeated Frankie Edgar, the crowd was loud but most cheers were for him. While some may struggle against such loud support, you didn't allowed it to get into your head. How do you control your game in such situation?

I understand the crowd was going to be against me because he's a legend in the sport, he's done his his diligence to become that. So I know I was behind any lines, but I think the day I'm not fighting the crowds. I'm fighting one person. So if they boo me or love me it doesn't matter. I only got to worry about one person.

Your next opponent Pedro Munhoz too is in the twilight of his career, also his recent record has not been very impressive? Your thoughts on it…

No I don't don't take him lightly at all. Whether he's coming off the loss or a win. He's probably more dangerous, because he is coming off a loss and the eye poke. So I take him seriously and I don't take him for granted, for sure.

A win against Pedro Munhoz will extend your streak to nine, which undoubtedly is nothing short of brilliant and it also gives you a push towards the title. What are your expectations?

First things first, I got to beat Pedro. I don't look too far ahead. I look at just one person at a time and that's Pedro for right now.

Watch the LIVE coverage of UFC Fight Night - Holloway vs Allen on Sony Sports Ten 2 (English), Sony Sports Ten 3 (Hindi) & Sony Sports Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels at 6:00 am IST on 16th April 2023

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