Steve Carl defends his World Series of Fighting welterweight title Saturday against Rousimar Palhares at World Series of Fighting 9.
Ahead of the bout, Carl joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss his opponent, how he prepared for Palhares’ leg locks and more.
On whether he was hesitant to fight Palhares due to his reputation for holding submissions: “Not really, no. Stylistically is the only hesitation that ever went through my mind because stylistically he’s the toughest matchup World Series has for me. Before becoming champion, I would have been really hesitant about taking a fight with him, but once I got that belt around my waist, there’s not a person that they’re going to offer me that I’m not going to immediately accept the fight. I’m the champ. I’m here to prove I’m the best. That means I’ll fight anybody.”
On Palhares’ reputation: “When it comes down to him being a dirty fighter, I don’t really care honestly. If it comes down to him holding a submission when I’m tapping and not letting go, I’ve already lost the fight and that’s the biggest thing on my mind.”
On preparing for Palhares’ leg locks: “I’ve worked my leg locks. I’ve worked my attacks. I’ve worked my defense. But it’s not … like my camp was centered around leg locks. A lot of people, that’s the only thing they think about: ‘You need to train your leg locks for Palhares.’ Well, all right. Now how are you going to beat him? I’m not going to leg lock him; I’ll tell you that right now. So how am I going to beat him? I need to be training my skills so I can be sharp when I get in that cage, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve switched my game up a little bit. I’m more aware of my body positioning and stuff when we hit the ground and even on the feet. You’ve got to be aware of how he comes in and get my hips back and away from him.”
On holding the WSOF welterweight title and why he fights: “I never dreamed of being a world champ. My one goal was just to make it to a bigger show, just to get on that bigger stage and prove to myself that I could do it. I’ve said time and time again that I’ve already achieved everything I set out to in this sport years ago, and now I’m just doing it because I’ve already put in all that hard work and I’m not going to let all my dedication go to waste.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:33:50).