The new UFC signee recently spent some time training at Team Alpha Male and that made an indelible mark on Gifford.
“It went amazing, I really learned a lot about wrestling and I learned the mentality of a wrestler. That helped me a lot in my game because everybody takes me down, they don’t like my striking. So I gotta get way better at my wrestling and thirty days of sitting there, getting taken down over and over and over…going through drills and drill three times a day with top athlete wrestlers Chad Mendes…Cody Garbrandt. Sage Northcutt…he actually slammed me a couple of times, it really put a mentality in you that you know that this wrestler is coming and he’s gonna pick you up and dump you. I gotta be ready for that and I feel like it really prepared me for that,” says Gifford in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.
Gifford has suffered seven losses as a professional MMA fighter and three of them came by way of submission.
Although Gifford is making his UFC debut in this bout, one thing Gifford knows is that his experience will play a factor in the outcome.
“It definitely does, experience always helps…no matter what. You never know what those new up and comers are going through, you don’t know how his trainings are going. So I’m gonna be prepared to go the three five minute round war with this kid and he’s not gonna beat me, I’m not gonna have my UFC debut and lose. That’s not gonna happen and he’s got to know that, my experience is gonna play a factor in this…no matter what because in the third round, he’s never been there. I’ve been there tons of times, I’ve been through tons of wars. I’ve been hit in the face, kicked in the face…kneed in the face. In the third round, I couldn’t see sometimes and my equilibrium’s messed up…but I’m still coming to fight, he hasn’t experienced that yet,” says Gifford.
UFC Fight Night Fort Lauderdale takes place on Saturday, April 27 from the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with Ronaldo Souza and Jack Hermansson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.