ST. LOUIS – The way UFC welterweight Emil Meek works, he fights better when less is expected of him.
When he’s the favorite, his performance suffers.
“When fight day comes, and I meet the top guy, I always fight my very best,” Meek (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) told MMAjunkie. “If it’s a good guy, I do better than if I fight a bad guy.”
Thankfully for him, he’s undoubtedly not the favorite heading into a fight with Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 124, which takes place Sunday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and airs live on FS1. Usman is unbeaten in the UFC with six consecutive wins. He’s perched on the edge of title contender status.
Although Meek’s UFC debut was successful, his resume doesn’t have the depth of his opponent, whose smothering wrestling has given way to knockout power in the octagon.
Thus, Meek’s stock can only go straight up with a win over Usman, the No. 9 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings.
“I’m not there to lose,” he said. “I’m not there to go do a good job and be happy with it. I’m there to win and put on the best performance of my life. I know I’m able to do that. I’ve done it before, and I’ve delivered time and time again.”
If he can upset expetactions this time around, Meek can count on a spot in the top-15. It will be harder to discount his abilities inside the cage. But he expects he’ll still be the underdog, and that’s a good thing.
“The next guy I’m fighting will be higher ranked, so I’ll probably be an underdog, too,” he said. “I like to be an underdog. The two fights where I was a favorite, I lost. I’m up for not being a favorite again.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC Fight Night 124's Emil Meek OK being underdog against Kamaru Usman