Bart Palaszewski floored Tyson Griffin at UFC 137. | File Photo: Sherdog.com
Bart Palaszewski doesn’t think Tyson Griffin took him seriously.
Palaszewski knocked him out 2:45 into the first round of their matchup at UFC 137, but it was when Griffin didn’t make weight for the 145-pound fight that Palaszewski started questioning his opponent’s preparation.
“I don’t know what happened,” Palaszewski told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “If something happened, I hope he comes out with it and tells me. It’s over and done with, but I kind of took it as kind of -- I don’t know if it was disrespect, but I feel like he overlooked me and didn’t take the camp super seriously, I think. He didn’t take it too seriously overall -- camp, diet and everything else. I think he thought I’d be a steppingstone to getting his career going again, but obviously it didn’t work out that way. Unless there was a reason why he didn’t make weight, as far as an injury or whatever, I think that’s what happened.”
When Griffin missed weight, it only reinforced Palaszewski’s plan to push the pace.
“He looked pretty drained,” Palaszewski said. “Other than that, I was going to push the pace from the beginning either way. It just kind of gave me a little more confidence that I knew I was going to be able to get him tired. I didn’t overlook him in any way, shape or form. I knew that the weight cut was rough on him, but I knew he’s still a game opponent no matter what. Obviously, like I said, I was going to push the pace even harder than we planned. It worked out, I guess.”
Palaszewski stunned Griffin on the feet and moved in for the kill. It was the kind of blitz that might have left Palaszewski drained if he hadn’t finished the fight, but conditioning wasn’t a concern.
“I knew he was hurt, for one, and you’ve got to go for it,” Palaszewski said. “I didn’t feel tired afterwards, to tell you the truth. If he wasn’t out after those punches, I could have gone at a high pace for the rest of the fight either way.”
After competing for years as a lightweight, Palaszewski feels his cardio is even better at featherweight.
“I actually had to add a lot more running and conditioning to my regimen just to be able to make weight,” he said. “My gas is, I don’t know if it’s on Clay Guida’s level, but it’s up there right now. It’s very good.”
The move to 145 has also given life to Palaszewski’s title aspirations.
“I think that, give me another 18 months and I’ll be right up there, either getting a title shot or being next in line,” he said. “… At 145, I think the only person that would give me a hard time standing up would be a guy like Jose Aldo, who I wouldn’t be afraid to stand with anyways. Other than that, I’ve got my grapplers and wrestlers to worry about. As far as grappling goes, I’m not really worried about getting submitted by anybody out there. As far as wrestling, that’s a work in progress as far as I see it.”
Besides a possible title run, Palaszewski is elated to have scored a win in his UFC debut. One win isn’t enough, though. He plans on sticking around.
“I almost started crying,” Palaszewski said. “Everybody kept asking me, ‘Why are you so emotional?’ It took me a long time to get in the UFC. I’ve done things differently. I always wanted to be in the UFC, but I’m super happy and ecstatic that it happened now. I’m actually mentally and physically ready for the challenge that the UFC brings. I’ve said it a hundred times, but they have these guys that are 7-0 or 9-0. They come in the UFC and they make an impact, but then they disappear and you never hear about them. I never wanted to be one of those guys. I want to be in the UFC for the long haul. I want to retire under the UFC banner.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:16:40).