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UFC Fight Night 55: Soa Palelei got his ass whooped in Thailand (and it's not a bad thing)

Soa Palelei will step foot inside the Octagon for the fifth time when he takes on Daniel Omielanczuk at UFC Fight Night 55 in his home country of Australia. Before he is set to go to war, "The Hulk" sat down with to discuss his upcoming opponent, life outside the cage, and his plans on becoming UFC champion in the very near future.

Matt King

Soa Palelei came into Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) riding an eight-fight winning streak, with each victory coming by way of knockout/technical knockout. Three fights later, Palelei had increased his winning streak to 11 by finishing Pat Barry, Nikita Krylov, and Ruan Potts in devastating fashion.

With UFC's heavyweight division in desperate need of fresh challengers, it seemed that Palelei could find himself fast-tracked up the division ladder en route to a high-profile contender fight. Unfortunately for the native Australian, he found himself taking on the ever-tough and durable Jared Rosholt at UFC Fight Night 43, who halted Palelei's winning streak with a dominant unanimous decision victory.

While Palelei's hype train may have slowed significantly after his bout with Rosholt, "The Hulk" knows that a few more highlight-reel victories will get him right back into the thick of title contention. He plans on starting that climb on Nov. 8, when he takes on Daniel Omielanczuk at UFC Fight Night 55: "Rockhold vs Bisping" at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to fighting in front of his adoring hometown fans, Palelei spoke with MMAmania, detailing his move to Thailand for his training camp, and his plans to fight for UFC gold in the near future.

Making a change and moving to Thailand

As soon as my doctor gave me the all clear after my last fight, I went straight to AKA Thailand to train with former UFC Fighter Mike Swick. I did a camp there before my bout against Ruan Potts and I wanted to go back and do my camp there again. Their facility is insane, the training is the best, and the vibe in the gym could not be better.

I can honestly say this has been one of the best camps I have ever had and I could stay here for a long time. The guys here are like family, and knowing that I’m getting up and going to get as ass whooping every day from these great guys isn’t a bad thing!

The honor of fighting in his home country of Australia

It's always great to fight in front of your home crowd. The feeling you get when you walk out with all your fellow Australians cheering you on is an amazing feeling. But, this is a job and I need to focus on what I need to do in order to compete at the best of my ability. Nothing will be a distraction.

His goal to spread positivity to his fans by utilizing Twitter

I've always been told that I’m positive and that I have this great vibe, but I just want to share with my fans what I feel and believe about life. I'm so thankful for the support they show me day in and day out. If one of my tweets can help them, or put a smile on their face that's great! Without their continuous support I wouldn't be able to do what I do. They're the ones that buy the tickets and the pay-per-views, so if I can help them by spreading positivity on Twitter, why wouldn't I?

His partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation in Australia

I've been with the Make-A-Wish foundation for two years now and I have granted three wishes as well as helping out along the way. It's an amazing feeling knowing that I can help out someone who is in real need. These kids look up to me as a hero, but truly they are my heroes because they keep fighting and don't ever give up.

His preparation for Daniel Omielanczuk, and the beginning of his climb to the UFC title

My coaches have watched tape on Daniel and they have applied it to my training thus far. I leave the tape watching to them, and I focus on my skills and abilities. I trust my team, and being at AKA Thailand I’m getting the best training possible, so I feel confident with all we are doing here. I want to keep climbing the ranks and keep working my way to the chance of fighting for the gold. Who wouldn't want that? That's the ultimate goal in this business.

Palelei's laser focus on attaining the title begins with hard work in training, and considering how happy he is with AKA Thailand, the Australian native could become a unheralded challenger in 2015. With Omielanczuk standing in his way, it could end up being a long night for the Polish powerhouse as he finds himself in the crosshairs of "The Hulk" at UFC Fight Night 55.

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