After “The Ultimate Fighter” taping wrapped, light heavyweight finalist Vinicius Magalhaes knew that he had to make some changes to his game. “It’s not just that I felt that I needed to change my standup game, I just felt embarrassed you know? You should be able to fight on your feet too and at the time of the show, I wasn’t able to do it,” Magalhaes told us during a recent interview.
Nobody has ever questioned his ground game, the concern was whether or not he could compete on his feet. Six months later, Magalhaes feels completely confident in his striking.
“Now that I’ve been training with guys like Shawn Tompkins and my own personal boxing coach, I feel comfortable fighting on my feet,” Magalhaes continued.
As for his opponent you ask? They both needed to put in some work in the six months that they had to prepare for tonight’s finals. Magalhaes knows that he’s going to see a completely different fighter in Ryan Bader.
“I’m pretty sure that [Ryan] Bader improved his standup because his standup maybe wasn’t as bad as mine but it was really poor also. I’m also sure that he’s been working on his submission defense but I don’t see why he would take me down knowing that that’s my strongest point,” Magalhaes explained.
If there’s one thing that Magalhaes is completely confident in, it’s his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“Ground and pound and standup would be Bader’s greatest chances [of beating me]. People don’t see Bader submitting me and to be honest, I can’t see that either,” Magalhaes said. “Bader’s a D-1 wrestler; it will be hard to take him down but I have other options. I could pull guard and I won’t feel uncomfortable doing that.”