“UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi” takes place Wednesday, March 31, at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. Making his UFC debut on the card is 30-year-old middleweight Mario Miranda.
Miranda is coming into the big leagues with a ton of momentum. He is undefeated, carries a pro MMA record of 9-0, and has wins over such opposition as UFC vet Joe Vedepo and current UFC fighter Rick Story. He won the Sport Fight Middleweight Title in April 2009 with a third round submission over Tyson Jeffries.
Miranda will be fighting Gerald Harris, a Grudge Training Center product who made his UFC debut in January with a third round knockout of John Salter.
ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) spoke with Mario Miranda on Tuesday about Harris, how he feels they match up, and if he expects any first time Octagon jitters. He also set the record straight on his UFC profile, and gave us a prediction on the upcoming title fight between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia.
PROMMANOW.COM: Thank you Mario for speaking with us at ProMMAnow.com. You are getting ready to make your UFC debut Wednesday night at “UFC Fight Night 21”. What kind of emotions have you been feeling these past few days as we lead up to the event?
MARIO MIRANDA: I’ve been cutting way the last couple days, it’s so stressful and tiring that you don’t think about the actual fight. I’ll probably be more excited on the day of the fight.
PROMMANOW.COM: Do you anticipate any “first time jitters,” as they call it?
MARIO MIRANDA: Not really. It’s my first fight in the UFC, but I have enough experience to deal with that.
PROMMANOW.COM: You have a very impressive undefeated record of 11-0 as a professional. You are a BJJ black belt, you’ve won jiu-jitsu championships, wrestling titles, and the Sport Fight Middleweight Title. Up to this point, what athletic achievement are you most proud of; which one means the most to you, and why?
MARIO MIRANDA: Just one correction, I’m not black belt in jiu-jitsu, I was porple belt when I was still training with the gi. It’s hard to pick one. All of those experiences helped me to become a fighter I am today.
PROMMANOW.COM: Ah okay, that’s what it said on your UFC profile page. Where did you study BJJ and who is your black belt under?
MARIO MIRANDA: I never practised jiu-jitsu in a well known school. My uncle, Adyr de Oliveira “Indio”, was my trainer.
PROMMANOW.COM: Could you tell us about your wrestling background and your achievements in wrestling?
MARIO MIRANDA: My uncle was also who introduced me on wrestling, I represented Brazil for many years and was South America champion.
PROMMANOW.COM: You are in a division that is being ruled over by Anderson “The Spider” Silva, and I know that he is one of your heroes. How do you think he will do against Demain Maia at UFC 112?
MARIO MIRANDA: He is an amazing fighter, I think he is going to keep the fight on his feet, and he wins by TKO.
PROMMANOW.COM: Let’s talk about Gerald Harris. He’s on an eight-fight win streak and he’s already gotten his first win in the Octagon. Were you already familiar with him before this fight, and how do you two match-up skill wise?
MARIO MIRANDA: I had seen him before, but I didn’t know much about him. I think this is a good match up, we both have a good wrestling background, but I don’t think it’s going to become a wrestling match.
PROMMANOW.COM: Is there any part of his game you have to really look out for, or do you feel you will have the advantage no matter where the fight goes?
MARIO MIRANDA: He has good take downs and ground and pound. Regardless of my opponent I’m comfortable with wherever the fight goes.
PROMMANOW.COM: Could you tell us about your school, where do you train and who helped you prepare for this fight?
MARIO MIRANDA: I train at AMC. Its in Kirkland, Wash. My head instructor is Matt Hume, and I have great teammates, some well known names other are new comers, but i appreciate everyone for the help on my preparation.
PROMMANOW.COM: Mario, thanks my friend for taking time to talk to us, we wish you the best of luck on Wednesday, and hopefully we can catch up down the road. Are there any sponsors you want to thank or do you have any shout outs?