Horwich Looks to cage “Big Dog” Almeida
Story by Robert Kravantka
A man that lives, sweats and breathes MMA, Matt Horwich will be facing off with Ricardo Almeida at UFC Fight Night tomorrow night.
Horwich fought with the IFL, and became the first IFL middleweight champion with his knockout of Benji Radach in the second round. After the IFL folded, Dan Miller, the last IFL middleweight titleholder, faced off with Horwich in Matt’s UFC debut at UFC 90 in October. Matt ultimately lost on the judges’ scorecard with a decision loss.
“The mistake I made in that fight is I got taken down,” says Horwich. “The third round, I felt tired and thought Dan must be tired too. I overcommitted and got taken down again. With him being on top, he had to expand less energy. You know, Dan is a great fighter, and it was an honor to fight him but feel that being patience throughout the match was important lesson I learned.”
Don’t expect anything easier in Ricardo Almeida, as Ricardo actually trains under the Gracie name in New Jersey with none other than Dan Miller. Surly, Dan will be giving his roadmap to beating Matt when the two meet. However, while Ricardo is more of a true grappler being a third degree BJJ black belt, Horwich notes:
“I got 2 knockout wins on my record which is an awesome feeling when you can make the transition from a pure submissions fighter to standing up and getting good results. Ricardo doesn’t have any knockouts on his record. There is a first time for everything, so I won’t underestimate him, but whatever is going for me is where I will look to take the fight.”
Coming from the Team Quest camp, expect a solid base in wrestling and ground skills though that makes the fight even more interesting. Will Matt reside to try and keep the fight standing, or will he rely on his experiences as a wrestler along with ground skills. He has the majority of wins by submission, with 18, and has racked up submissions against the likes of Josh Burkman, Krzysztof Sosnynsk, Veron White, and Jason MacDonald. While suffering a loss in his first Octagon appearance, Horwich notes on his transition from the IFL to the UFC:
“You can stack the opponent against the cage,” says Horwich. “they won’t roll out, or use it to get up, but I don’t see the cage as a big difference. The elbows that is a big difference. The other main difference is the level of competition, as the UFC has the best talent pool.”
Horwich comes with a plethora of fight experience, and look for him to potentially correct what he feels was a mistake that cost him in his last fight.
“Hard work and positive choices pay off when it is time to compete. I worked hard on cardio and dieting and as of now I am up to 40 minutes on level 20 of the stair climber. I feel good and strong, and won’t have a problem with any weight.”
As we wind down the interview, Matt had this to offer,
“Would like to thank all of the UFC, Dana White, Zuffa, Joe Silva, and the guys I train with, Eddie Bravo, my team here in Oregon, Matt Lindlind and the fighters. The fans of mma of course. Would like to also thank God, it’s a beautiful universe, and we can do anything we set our minds to.”
Truly a dent in the persona or stereotype one might have of mixed martial arts, Matt Horwich is as real and humble as a person can find. See him in action, April 1, 2009 at UFC Fight Night being shown on Spike TV.