LIVERPOOL, England – UFC middleweight Tom Breese knows a thing or two about road wear. Just after he withdrew from his previous scheduled fight, he tore his ACL and was benched for the majority of 2017.
Then again, Breese (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is only 26. He can bounce back. His opponent on Sunday, Daniel Kelly (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), is one of the older fighters on the UFC roster at 40. Back-to-back losses have put his octagon career on edge.
Yet Breese isn’t discounting Kelly’s age or recent trajectory. He expects the Olympic judoka to be a tough challenge.
“He’s experienced, and he’s more experienced than he was a few years ago,” Breese told MMAjunkie in advance of their FS1-televised fight at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. “I never like to underestimate anyone. I’m not going to overestimate him, either.
“I’m going to see what it feels like to be in there with him on fight night. I’m very confident. I’m only 26. I feel like I’m in my prime. He’s aging. But I’m not underestimating him – I’m not overestimating him. I’m ready for my toughest challenge.”
After suffering the first loss of his career in his previous outing, Breese wants to prove he’s still capable of fighting his way to a title. He’s got a few more miles on his body, but he’s still got the same drive to find success in the octagon.
“More than anything, I want to do it for myself,” he said. “I want to do a big performance for myself to get that self-satisfaction and that fulfillment.
“I feel like I’ve improved a lot in the last two years. I’m maturing as an adult. So I think you’ll see a much better fighter and athlete.”
For more on UFC Fight Night 130, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.