World Series of Fighting is fast becoming a go to source for great fights. Tomorrow night will mark their sixth event, and they've got some really solid match-ups being featured. The main event, headlined by Josh Burkman and Steve Carl promises to be a fun fight, with both athletes riding serious hot streaks, neither having recorded a loss in more than two years.
In a recent interview with MMA Sentinel, Steve Carl had some interesting opinions on his opponent, especially regarding Burkman's recent comments that he would be a huge step up for Carl. He also talked about his fighting philosophy and motivation, as well as the differences in Bellator and WSOF. Here's what he had to say:
Burkman Looking for a Trilogy vs Jon Fitch
I think that adds more pressure to Josh than anything. At the end of the day, I don't care if he's getting more hype or more publicity than me, because it's still my fight. I still get to go in there and I still get to fight. He has to get through me for that Jon Fitch trilogy to happen. I believe he thinks his chances against Fitch are better than his chances against me.
Burkman Match Up
I like the match up. I wanted Josh Burkman last year after he beat Gerald Harris. He beat Aaron Simpson and Jon Fitch since then, but it's still the same match up for me. I've become a better fighter in this last year. I'm not necessarily going to go out there and try to submit the guy, I'm going to try to take his head off first.
This is a fight that Josh doesn't really want. We knew that if we both won, we would be fighting each other going into this, but as soon as he beat Jon Fitch I kind of saw him in several different interviews saying some things that kind of contradicted that. Saying things like he'd kind of like to see us go through a tournament to see who would fight him. Saying, "Well, I don't know if I should fight Steve Carl or if he should have to do this or that." To me, that's just a cop out. That's just saying, "Oh hey, we knew we were going to fight each other, and now that we have to fight each other, I don't want to." And hoping that somebody else could beat me instead of him.
I think it's because we both shared locker rooms together and he sees my mentality. I don't treat my opponent any different than how I would treat somebody walking down the street. It's not a big deal. I'm going in there and I'm doing a job that I've been training to do for a decade. I don't get nervous, I don't freak out, I barely warm up. I laugh and joke around, and the second I walk out there I flip the switch and beat my opponent, whereas Josh warms up for like half an hour. He goes through yoga, meditation, massage, chiropracty... He does all sorts of things to get himself into the zone to fight, and he realizes I don't have to do anything; I can just go out there, flip the switch and go.
Burkman Saying he is a Step up in Competition for Carl
I don't know how true that statement is. I would venture to say that Josh has fought tougher competition than I have, I would definitely say that's a fair statement, but I've trained all over the country and I've worked out with the best, from lightweights to heavyweights. Josh Burkman is not going to bring anything that I haven't seen before.
The Mental Game
When I was in Bellator, I had a completely different mindset. I wasn't mentally where I am now. That fight with Douglas Lima is the reason I have been so successful; the reason I am so calm now. I walked into that fight terrified, in all of my Bellator fights I was terrified; I let the hype get to me. That's one thing that I'm not doing now. I'm just enjoying the moment instead of thinking that the moment is too big for me. I'm just ready to go, I don't care if me and Josh are the first fight of the night, or the last fight of the night for the world title. Either way I'm still getting into the cage with one man, that's it.
Bellator vs WSOF
Both organizations try to do well by their fighters, but to put it into perspective, World Series has had five fights in the last year. That gives them a month or two for each single fight, to prepare for it. There is a lot more individual attention compared to having a fight every single week and just pushing cards through one after another. It's that individual attention that creates a better atmosphere for the fighters.
I like the lifestyle, but family and friends are my big motivation. They really believe in me and it brings a lot of excitement and joy to their lives when I compete and win. The amount of support I get from them keeps me going, it keeps me in that gym every day.
When that bell rings, I'm not looking to feel my opponent out. I'm not looking to dance around. I'm going to get in there, I'm going to get in his face and I'm going to try to finish him, whether that's knocking him out our submitting him.
Too many fighters go out there trying to "win". They're trying to win the round, they're trying to score points. You've got to go out there and beat the person in front of you, and that's it. I apply a lot of pressure and people crack. If you look at my record, people crack really easily, really fast. You've just got to stay on them.
You can follow Steve via his Twitter account, @Steve_Carl