Fabio Maldonado may not be fighting Quinton Jackson -- thanks for nothing, Bellator -- at UFC 186 on April 25, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but the Brazilian's motivation to put on a show hasn't withered.
After "Rampage" was denied his Octagon homecoming in the court of law, Steve Bosse -- an ex-professional hockey player -- was pegged as his replacement to take on Fabio at the injury-riddled pay-per-view (PPV) event.
And while a victory over a seasoned veteran such as Jackson would've further boosted Fabio's career, the slugger says beating Bosse still gives him his fifth straight victory in the light heavyweight division. Which, at the end of the day, is what it's all about if he wants to be a world champion.
His words to MMA Fighting:
"I wanted to fight ‘Rampage.’ I’ve been waiting to fight him for 12 years, but I’m not thinking about it anymore. I only think about Steve Bosse now. That’s my focus right now. I will always be excited to fight because I have a goal. I know it’s hard, but it’s not impossible. My goal is to be the UFC champion. I have my kids to feed and I want to give them the best, so I will always be hungry to fight. I probably had the best camp of my life. I’m always motivated. I have a new challenge ahead."
Despite the change in foe, the goal of putting on a violent performance remains the same. Unfortunately for Steve, who will be making his Octagon debut after bailing on the promotion last year, it will be his blood that is smeared all over the Octagon, not Quinton's.
"My idea is to open him up, cut his face and everything else. I want to beat him up. I don’t wish him anything bad, but I want to beat him up a lot. Fans will watch that old Maldonado. Hands down, asking for my opponent to punch. Punch and get punched. It’s going to be fun. There will be a lot of blood in Montreal. It’s going to be an exciting fight. I guarantee you that I’m going to a stand-up war."
No stranger to all out, blood-soaked wars, Fabio could shoot up the rankings if he can can spoil Steve's UFC debut.
And who knows, if "Rampage" can sort through his legal issues with the aid of UFC's legal team, then maybe Maldonado could see himself fighting the mixed martial arts (MMA) legend in his next outing.