Fabio Maldonado: 'Miocic won't trade punches with me'

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Maldonado is sure that his opponent in the main event of TUF Brazil 3 Finale will respect his boxing skills in their upcoming fight.

Fabio Maldonado is confident in his striking skills ahead of his debut at UFC heavyweight division. A former boxer with a perfect record after 22 professional fights, Maldonado told Tatame.com that he don't think that opponent Stipe Miocic will feel comfortable trading punches with him in the octagon and expects takedown attempts from his opponent on May 31, in the main event of TUF Brazil 3 Finale:

I think that Miocic is a great fighter. I know he is a good boxer but I have a lot of wins and accomplishments in boxing. I think I have a small advantage if I close the distance and, in a 25 minutes fight, I'm sure that he won't trade punches with me. He will come to take me down but I'll be ready.

Maldonado also revealed that he asked to fight against heavyweights in the past:

I have always wanted to fight heavyweights in the UFC. I have asked for fights in this division against Pat Barry and Roy Nelson.

Maldonado stepped up as a replacement for Junior dos Santos, who hurt his hand in a sparring and had to give up from his first UFC fight in Brazil.

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