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WSOF 27's Luiz Firmino ready for 'The Future' on short notice ... and the Lightweight champion next

World Series of Fighting

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 27: "Future Champs" takes place at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., this Saturday night (Jan. 23, 2016). It's the first event of the 2016 WSOF season and scheduled to air live on NBC Sports at 9 p.m. ET.

One of the featured fights on the main card puts "The Future" in "Future Champs" when Caros Fodor places his nickname -- and 10-4 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record -- on the line against seasoned 18-6 Lightweight veteran Luiz "Buscape" Firmino.

Fodor was originally scheduled to face Mike "The Martian" Ricci in the main event, but Firmino agreed to fill in on short notice, putting himself in the precarious position of having only a few weeks to train for a NBC Sports Network-televised co-main event.

Is "Buscape" ready for the challenge this weekend? Firmino recently spoke with about his upcoming fight at FedEx Forum, as well as his time on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21.

Firmino started the interview by noting it was no problem for him to replace Ricci on short notice.

"It's normal. I'm doing everything (in training) you know, I was ready you know. My manager called me and said 'Buscape, you ready for next week?' I said, 'okay, I am ready.'"

Firmino comes into fight night with a five-fight win streak and is unbeaten so far in the Decagon, holding wins over tough opponents like Tyson Griffin and Jacob Volkmann. For him, this fight with Fodor is on the same level.

"No I don't have pressure because I train with the best. I've fought before on big shows you know, I don't have pressure. When you're (always) ready you don't have the pressure. You can go and do work and do your job and that's it y'know?"

I asked Firmino to break down his thoughts on Fodor as his opponent this Saturday night.

"I saw a couple of his (fights) y'know? He's a good guy, he comes for (the) fight, I like him for sure. He has a good stand up, has good wrestling, and a LITTLE jiu-jitsu, you know? But, I have good stand up, too, I have very good wrestling and very good jiu-jitsu you know? And this is the difference."

For "Buscape" his experience to date has him mentally focused despite the short notice to take the fight. And not having lost in MMA since 2012 doesn't hurt, either.

"I'm very confident, you know I'm very confident for every fight. It doesn't matter -- this is a normal fight. I want the (Lightweight) belt (so) if I win this fight then I come to take the belt and bring it (home) for my gym."

Division champion, Justin Gaethje, has to first face Brian Foster on March 12, 2016. But, after that, the door is open to find a new Lightweight contender, and an impressive win can definitely put Firmino into contention.

"Yeah, for sure ... I want him for my next fight! I talk to Ray Sefo (and said) if I win the fight I want the belt. I fought the tough fights before (Fodor) and this is my time you know?"

Some MMA fans may have expected "Buscape" to get a chance in UFC given he won a fight on TUF 21, but Firmino is not wasting any time on regret that he never got that chance.

"I don't think (about) UFC now. I think about World Series, I want the belt for World Series. I don't care for UFC. When you go to a reality show and you win the fight, you're supposed to have the chance to go to UFC you know? But, if they don't call me, don't talk to me, okay no problem. I have big shows like World Series you know, and they now have a lot of shows every month like this you know?"

Lastly, I asked Firmino about having to make weight on short notice for "Future Champs."

"My weight is good, everything is perfect you know? No problem. When you have a good mentality it's not a problem. (I was) 163 this morning. Perfect."

He's got his weight right, his mind right, and he's ready for a fight on Saturday night.

Check out the complete audio of our interview below and complete fight coverage is HERE on


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