Mike Pierce: 'Carlos Eduardo Rocha Is a Fish out of Water'
You don't always get what you want.
If you're UFC welterweight Mike Pierce, you almost never get what you want.
Pierce, who's coming off three consecutive split decision bouts, has seen his hand raised just one lonely time to Paul Bradley at UFC on FOX 1. In the others, Pierce fell short to rising star Johny Hendricks and UFC veteran Josh Koscheck.
But, the tides are turning. Pierce will now get what he wants as he'll meet Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC on FX on June 8th in a welterweight showdown.
Pierce recently sat down with Bleacher Report to discuss his recent calling out of Rocha and a variety of other topics.
Garrett Derr: Mike, I’m sure you’ve heard it a 1,000 times, but you’re coming off an extremely tough loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 143. As you awaited the judge’s scorecards, were you pretty confident that you won the fight?
Mike Pierce: Oh yeah. I was ready to get my hand raised and go crazy. If you take a look at the fight and watch it over again, look at Josh Koscheck's demeanor. He didn't look happy and he didn't look like he won the fight.
He didn't have the facial expressions like he usually does when he wins a fight. He didn't look like any of his past fights where he won. He wasn't expecting to get his hand raised and he was really surprised when he won.
GD: I had you winning that fight, Dana White had you winning that fight, so what can the UFC or the commission do to improve the quality of judging? Or, do you feel human error is a part of the sport?
MP: I'm not sure what the UFC can do since they are really just the promoters, you know. The local commission needs to do something about the judging, though. I think they need to sit down and set some things straight or place some type of standards.
I think they [judges] might need to be educated, so these guys know what counts for what. I'm not sure what needs to be done, but something needs to happen.
GD: Split decisions seem to be right up your alley. Your last three bouts have resulted in a split decision. What goes through a fighter’s mind as they wait to hear that decision over and over again?
MP: Split decisions are never fun. But for this fight, I really thought I won. I was like cool, and then they called his name. I said great, this is going to be a split decision. I went into the decision thinking that I at least won 29-28, and that it was going to be unanimous.
For it to be split, it was kind of shocking. I didn't get to talk to Dana after the fight, but I did catch his interview with Ariel Helwani where he said he had me winning the fight. They thought that I won the fight, but missing out on the win bonuses and that stuff, when you really won, really sucks.
GD: You'll meet Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC on FX 3. Were you disappointed at all with your matchup considering he hasn’t even fought in a year?
MP: No, I don't think so. I sent out on Twitter that I wanted an easy fight, so I called out all the Brazilians in the 170-pound division. Carlos answered, so I got the fight that I wanted.
GD: What weak points do you see in his game that you’ll be able to exploit come fight night?
MP: I think everything. I'll be able to exploit everything. I think the only tool that he has that is any good, is his ground game. He's pretty good at these weird scrambles and being on the ground. Other than that, I think that he's a fish out of water.
I want to finish him early. I think he's going to have a tough time figuring things out. He's going to get beat up on his feet, and for the short time we end up on the ground, he'll get beat up there too. He's not going to want to fight me after the first round, if it happens to make it past the first. I want to put this guy to sleep.
GD: Taking a look at your career, you've fought some of the toughest fighters in the UFC. Koscheck, Hendricks, Fitch, and even Munoz. So, who do you believe has been your toughest matchup up until this point in your career?
MP: It probably doesn't make any sense, but I beat him in a split decision, Paul Bradley. He was one of the guys that was so much like me in my fighting style and strength. He was a really tough dude who had a tough loss at 185, and then moved down to welterweight.
I think if he would have started at 170, the guy would probably still be in the UFC. He's a guy I fought twice and he got a lot better. Fitch was obviously a tough fight. I think I beat Koscheck, but I don't think that he was any tougher than Bradley.
GD: So, you’re an Oregon boy. And, of course, so is Chael P. Sonnen. Who wins the showdown between him and Silva this time around?
MP: Chael, of course, without a question. I think Chael is going to go in there and do what he did the first time around. He's going to go in there and do what he did the first time around and not get caught in a submission this time.
You rarely make the same mistake twice. I'm hoping he goes in there and beats the guy for five straight rounds. There's a chance he finishes him, but I'm not sure what is more gratifying, having him finish him or beat his a-- for 25 minutes. I think that would be more gratifying.
Garrett Derr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
For additional information, follow Garrett Derr on Twitter.
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