The UFC returns to the beloved Apex this Saturday to host a total of twelve thrilling mixed martial arts contests. The fight-card on the night consists of a chess match in the main event between two of the sport’s most respectable strikers in Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze. The card also includes TUF finalists battling it out for that forever dreamed about UFC contract, young and hungry up and comers, as well as the return of the always entertaining Kevin Lee.
Amongst the carnage, I had the opportunity to catch up with Brazilian middleweight Wellington Turman, who looks to rebound from two consecutive losses for the first time in his career as he faces off against the fan-favorite Sam Alvey.
Interview with Wellington Turman
Firstly, it’s been only two months since we last saw you compete against Silva. How are you feeling mentally and physically, and what’s the reason behind wanting to get in there so quickly? Have you allowed your body to recover from the last fight?
Wellington Turman – “Yes, man, it was a little quick, but the opportunity appeared, and I felt good and accepted. Sam Alvey is an excellent opponent for me, and I am prepared.”
On the topic of your last outing with Silva, you looked powerful and instigated the grappling from the get-go, landing takedown after takedown. After watching that back, what mistakes did you identify? What do you feel went wrong?
Wellington Turman – “In my last fight, I wanted to submit very quickly. I lacked patience. I ended up falling under, and the hand entered. You can’t go wrong in this sport.”
You are still so young in your career and have so much time to keep getting better. However, after your previous two bouts, does there become a barrier of lack of confidence? If, so how do you overcome that? Do you overcome that from preparation in training?
Wellington Turman – “Yes, man, I know my potential. I moved to the United States now, and I’m training with glover Teixeira. You will see the difference already in this fight.”
Sam Alvey was scheduled to fight Roman Kopylov at the end of July. How did the fight come about? Have you just had the month to prepare, or were you already training full time?
Wellington Turman – “It was a last-minute fight, but I’m a guy who doesn’t go without training, so I was ready. I just had to adjust a few things.”
Sam Alvey has failed to win in his last six fights and is desperately hunting for a victory. Seeing an opponent struggling to get any form/consistency together, does that give you a ton of confidence that you will get the job done, or do you look at him as more dangerous, as one more loss could potentially see him cut?
Wellington Turman – “For sure, he is very willing, but I am too. You can expect a big fight.”
When you look at this fight, where do you see a clear path to victory?
Wellington Turman – “He’s a big opponent, but my jiu-jitsu is better, I’ll work on it.”
Training and being under the watchful eye of Glover Teixeria, how beneficial is that having him around daily for advice and guidance, as he’s been around forever. What’s the atmosphere like in the gym?
Wellington Turman – “The man is amazing. I always watched Glover on tv, and now I’m here training with him and learning a lot. It’s been an excellent experience for me!”
When will you be flying into Vegas? How much time do you like to give yourself to accumulate to the air, timezone etc.?
Wellington Turman – “I travel on Tuesday, the week of the fight. It’s never a problem. One week is enough.”
Looking at Sam Alvey’s game, you’ve had limited time to prepare, but he’s so experienced. How do you view him overall as a martial artist? Anything you think he does well, or any holes you feel you can exploit?
Wellington Turman – “Man, he’s a good striker, and I’m an excellent grappler. You guys already know what’s going to happen, right? haha, it will be a dispute of styles.”
Lastly, when you visualize this fight, what type of fighting are you expecting from Sam Alvey? Can we get an official fight prediction?
Wellington Turman – “Sam will look to knock me out. I am prepared for everything.”
Featured Image Credits to Getty Images