On one hand, Vinny Magalhaes isn’t quite sure what to expect Saturday when the PFL playoffs continue.
And on the other, he absolutely knows what to expect.
Magalhaes is the top-seeded light heavyweight in PFL’s playoffs, which continue at PFL 9 at Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif. The main card airs on NBCSN following prelims on Facebook Watch.
Magalhaes (16-9) takes on Rakim Cleveland (19-10-1), the No. 8 seed, in the opening round. A win would put Magalhaes in the semifinals against the winner of No. 4 Bozigit Ataev vs. No. 5 Emiliano Sordi – on the same night. And two wins in one night means a trip to the final – and a chance at a $1 million paycheck on New Year’s Eve.
Magalhaes said the prospect of fighting twice in one night is new to him in MMA, but not over his decorated grappling career. So he’s trying to bring those similarities to the table for his mental preparation.
“I’ve never fought two MMA fights in one night,” Magalhaes recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “But it is a tournament, and I’ve been doing tournaments my whole life. I don’t feel like there’s a whole lot of difference. If you put yourself in that competition mindset, it’s the same thing.”
Magalhaes said since earlier this year, he hasn’t stopped training – save for a couple Sundays off. Other than that, he said he trains at least once a day on one thing or another.
That way, he’s always ready – and he believes that will come into play this week, given he has to get ready for one opponent he knows, but then will have to immediately start thinking about who comes next – which he won’t know going into the night.
“I’ve been training for the last six months, so I don’t feel like there’s any one area of my game I’m going to depend on the most,” Magalhaes said. “I’ve been around for 20 years and I’ve been grappling at the highest level for many years. If I take it there, I’m going to have a huge advantage. But I’ve also been working my wrestling and working my striking.
“I have Rakim, who’s a southpaw – that’s my first fight. But the second fight, there are two orthodox guys I could be fighting. So I just eliminated myself training for one person because the second fight is going to be a completely different opponent, and I don’t even know who I’m fighting in the second fight.”
Regardless of how things play out, Magalhaes said he’ll be ready no matter what his opponents bring to the fight.
“I’m going to bring my best,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who I’m going to be facing first. … I’ve got to focus on bringing my best game and have the confidence that if it stays standing, I can fight anybody. If I have to wrestle, I can take anybody down. If I have to take it to the ground, I can finish anybody. My confidence level is really good. No matter who I fight, no matter who they give me, I feel like I can do really well.”
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Vinny Magalhaes says PFL 9 prep made a little easier by lifetime of tournaments