UFC 224's Cezar Ferreira trained through torn hamstring to beat Karl Roberson

RIO DE JANEIRO – UFC middleweight Cezar Ferreira knows a thing or two about injuries. Doctors still marvel he’s able to fight after one that required surgery and eight screws in his back.

As experienced as he is, it doesn’t suck any less when the injury bug bites. One month prior to his meeting with Karl Roberson (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC 224, he tore his hamstring.

“It was very, very hard. I couldn’t spar,” Ferreira (13-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) told MMAjunkie backstage after his FX-televised submission win at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. “I thank God, because I have a great team. Those guys trained me very well for this fight.”

Ferreira, who works out of MMA Masters in Miami, managed to avoid irritating his nagging injury by taking former kickboxing champ Roberson to the ground, where he dominated the fight before getting the tapout with an arm-triangle choke in the opening frame.

It was a triumphant finish for the Brazilian, who’s been to gyms where training hard replaces smart training. He counted on his teammates to help him work through his injury.

Ferreria said his current team places more emphasis on timing and conditioning, which minimizes the occurrence of injuries. And while he wasn’t able to come into the fight at 100 percent, he believes the approach will extend his career.

“They want my career to last longer,” he said of his team. “I want to fight until I’m 50 years old.”

Next up for Ferreira is ideally a fight with fellow Brazilian Paulo Costa, whom he called out again in his post-bout interview. He brushed aside the suggestion of bad blood – despite calling Costa “fake” in a previous interview – and said the honorable mention in USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie’s MMA middleweight rankings simply moves his career forward.

Whether or not he gets his wish, Ferreira discounts a decision loss in February 2017 against Elias Theodorou and believes he’s on a six-fight winning streak.

“I think I earned my spot in the UFC rankings, because everybody knows that I have a six-win streak,” he said. “The fight that I lost in Canada, the judges took away from me. I won the fight clearly, with one hand – I broke my hand in the first round. I’ve already said everything I think about it, so I’m just going to wait to see my next opponent.”

For complete coverage of UFC 224, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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