Daron Cruickshank isn’t too worried about UFC on Fox 10 opponent Mike Rio.
Ahead of their lightweight contest Saturday in Chicago, Cruickshank joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to break down the matchup and more.
On whether he’s worried about getting cut if he loses: “It’s always on the table, I guess, especially because I lost one, I won one and I lost one for last year. But it’s a brand new year and I feel like I’m actually pretty good with my back against the wall. My whole wrestling career, and everything, when it was on the line, I actually performed really well. There’s pressure, but it’s something I’m used to and I’m comfortable with and I kind of like it.”
On his unique striking style: “That’s actually another reason why I don’t think I’m going to be on the chopping block is because I try to go out there and I’m exciting. I’m not just going to take somebody down and hump them for 15 minutes. I want the knockout. I’m going to go for it, and sometimes I get knocked out in between that, but it’s a spectator sport and my style is not a boring style. I take risks. I throw stuff that most guys don’t know how to throw and sometimes it hits, sometimes it doesn’t.”
On laying it on the line: “We’re not playing Barbies. We’re trying to take each other’s head off. I’m always going to give it everything I’ve got, and if the guy’s better than me that night, all respect for him. You’ve got to get in there and have no fear of getting hurt or injured or anything. If you do, then that’s when you get hurt. You’ve got to just put it on the line and go to town and get out of there as fast as you can by going in there with no fear and chucking some hands and feet.”
On Rio: “Realistically, Mike Rio is not dangerous at all. He’s never knocked anybody out. He submits [an opponent] every once in a while. He’s not dangerous on top. All he’s got is a good double-leg, and hopefully this time he runs right into my knee when I lift it up and he shoots in. I don’t think he has a chance in this fight.”
On Rio’s weaknesses: “Here’s the thing. He is a one-style fighter. He has one weapon, that’s it: a takedown. That’s not UFC quality. … He can fight MMA. I just feel like he needs to get better at other things. He needs to branch out and learn different arts. I mean, yeah, sometimes monkeys fall out of trees. He could take me down a bunch of times and keep me on my back, and hopefully he learns how to fend off submissions, but I don’t see that happening.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:00:15).