LONDON – At a time when simply winning just doesn’t quite cutting it when trying to boost your UFC career, it’s no wonder that Twitter beefs and heated press conference interactions have become such a common – and efficient – means of promotion.
One man you’ll find noticeably absent from these interactions, though, is Tom Breese.
“I’m not really big on being the center of attention or anything,” Breese told MMA Junkie on Wednesday ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 5. “I just like to keep my head down and enjoy my work, you know? I fight because I enjoy it. I’m passionate about this game, and for me to talk and stuff isn’t really my thing.”
That line of thinking is coherent to Breese’s overall approach to being a mixed martial artist. For him, more than showing anything to others, fighting is about improving himself and getting to see the results of that inside the cage. While some will say their focus is to win multiple belts or become a big star, Breese keeps it simple.
“I want to improve every facet of the game,” Breese said. “I’m very passionate about this.”
Breese believes he was able to see that self-improvement in his last fight. Coming off a split-decision loss to Sean Strickland, still the sole setback of Breese’s career, the English fighter made quick work of Daniel Kelly at UFC Fight Night 130 last May and was happy to see he’d progressed and his movement got better.
At 27 and with three UFC finishes under his belt, it’s safe to say Breese (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has a lot going for him heading into Saturday’s meeting with Ian Heinisch (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at The O2.
In fact, he’s not even bothered by the fact that Heinisch is actually his third scheduled opponent for this card, after Alessio Di Chirico and Cezar Ferreira withdrew with injuries. “I’m more focused on my game and being prepared for anything,” Breese said, and frankly he’s not too mad about the opponent he ended up with.
“To be honest, when I got offered Ferreira again, I’d have preferred it to be Heinisch because Heinisch got the win over Ferreira (at UFC Fight Night 140),” Breese said. “And what I like about Heinisch is he comes to fight. He brings the fight. I think I’ll bring the best out of him.”
Not all is golden, though, and Breese’s career has been stumbling in one department: activity. One year after losing to Strickland, Breese came just hours within returning to the cage before being declared medically unfit to compete. Shortly afterward, he announced ACL and meniscus tears that would keep him out of the game for a while.
After being gone for almost two years, Breese hit another bump in the road: a knee injury forced him out of a UFC Fight Night 140 meeting with Ferreira in November. Naturally, Breese wasn’t exactly thrilled about snapping his momentum.
“I felt like I pushed myself too far,” Breese said. “I was probably over-training a little bit as I got too close. And I got injured, probably like two weeks before I was supposed to fight Ferreira. And it was very disappointing. Thankfully, the injury didn’t keep me out for too long, and I’m back here now.”
Moving forward, Breese’s goals are as one would expect: To take each day as it comes and get better in the process. More practically, though, he wants to make up for lost time and fight about three or four times this year. It doesn’t really matter against whom.
“Obviously it’d be great to get into the rankings and stuff, but I respect every fighter in the UFC,” Breese said. “Every fight in the UFC is a tough fight; there is no easy fight in the UFC. Anyone that they give me, I’ll be happy to fight against.”
To hear from Breese, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC London's Tom Breese not big on talk and attention, more so on fighting better and often