By: MMAjunkie Staff
Louis Gaudinot might be fighting a Brit in his home country, but don’t expect his hair to go from green to red, white and blue.
Gaudinot (6-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who fights Phil Harris (22-11 MMA, 1-2 UFC) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 38, remembers getting tweets from British fans when he served on Michael Bisping’s team on “The Ultimate Fighter 14.” He might not get a rousing reception at London’s O2 Arena, where he fights on the event’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed prelims, but he isn’t playing the yankee card.
“We’ll see what kind of reception when I go out,” Gaudinot told MMAjunkie Radio. “It’s green. I’m sticking with one color; I’m not going to change it.”
Far more concerning to the flyweight is resuscitating his record after a second octagon setback in his most recent fight, which put him at 1-2 in his post-TUF career.
“You’re only as good as your last fight, and my last fight, I wasn’t that good,” he said. “So I’m trying to erase that memory in fans’ minds, and I just want to go out there and get back to how it was when I was an amateur in Ring of Combat.
“It was my career in a sense, but it was also was a hobby, and I was doing it for the fun of it, and not like, ‘This is my job.’ This fight, my back is against the wall.”
Gaudinot faced Tim Elliot this past August at UFC 164 after a year-plus injury layoff, and within the first minute of his return, he was injured once again. An errant finger to the eye prompted a brief break in the action, but not enough to recover.
“That’s what threw me off,” Gaudinot said. “I was like, ‘Oh, s–t, man. I can’t see.’ My coach is like, ‘Take five minutes,’ and they don’t give you five minutes for an eye poke. Herb Dean says, ‘Can you see?’ And if I say no, I know they’re going to stop the fight, and I don’t want them to stop the fight. I was like, ‘Yeah, just give me a second.’
“I would have liked more time, but if I would have said no, he would have stopped the fight. If you can’t see, you can’t see. After that first round, I was just thrown off. I didn’t feel like myself out there.”
After 15 minutes, Gaudinot was pronounced the loser by unanimous decision. This year, the New Jersey resident hopes to bounce back from the struggles of the past two years and get back into title contention. Thankfully, he hasn’t been hindered by his health.
“I’ve been injury-free this camp, so I’m hoping to keep it that way,” he said. “I had a long layoff, and I don’t think it hurt me too bad, but it didn’t help.”
The Brit Harris is also on the rocks, having lost two of three previous fights in the UFC, so the loser of this bout could very well be sent packing.
Gaudinot isn’t ignoring the bout’s stakes, but he is trying not to be overwhelmed by them.
“I’m 1-2, I’m coming off a loss, and the UFC just signed a bunch of newer flyweights, so the division is getting deeper,” he said. “I kind of have to go out there and perform, but I don’t want to put all that pressure on my back. I just want to go out there and have fun and do martial arts, like I love to do, like I’ve been doing since I was six.”