In just two weeks time Mike Pierce, unbeaten in his last 3, will be opening the UFC 162 preliminary card against relative unknown David Mitchell. Pierce (16-5) has only lost to current or former title challengers in Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Johny Hendricks, with the latter two coming by split decision. In an interview with The Verbal Submission (which included MMA Mania's Brian Hemminger), Pierce was asked whether or not he needed to "make a statement" in his fight with Mitchell:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like you need to make a statement in this fight? Not just win but do something that will drop everyone's jaws?
Mike Pierce: Yeah, I want to win in dramatic fashion. I want to make a statement. I'm kinda pissed off. (laughs) Like I said, I want to get back to where I was with that Koscheck fight. I kinda had some momentum there and had I got my hand raised and got the victory, I'd have been on to bigger and better things. Right now, I'm opening for UFC 162 on the preliminary card and that's not where I want to be on the card. Yeah, I want to out there and end this fight quickly in dramatic fashion and move my way back up where I think I need to be.
While Pierce is known for his "grinding" decisions, he's shown his knockout power in stopping Kenny Robertson and Aaron Simpson. He has the clear striking advantage over Mitchell, who is a submission specialist with no wins by KO/TKO in 12 career fights.
It's expected that Pierce will come out of UFC 162 as a winner, and improve his UFC record to an impressive 9-3. When asked who he'd like to challenge himself against, Pierce provided two notable top 10 welterweights:
Gerry Rodriguez: Are there any guys out there that you think would make for great fights, anyone you'd like to challenge yourself against?
Mike Pierce: There's two guys that come to mind and that would be Jake Ellenberger and Carlos Condit. I think both of those guys are tough and both of those guys can be beat and they're both really relevant fighters right now.
You can listen to the full interview at MMA Mania.