Bubba McDaniel: My motivation right now is to change people’s minds

Former UFC Middleweight Bubba McDaniel will look to extend his winning streak to three and also earn his third career victory inside the Bellator cage tonight against Emiliano Sordi at Bellator 128.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The 31-year-old Texan product was eliminated in the quarterfinals of The Ultimate Fighter 17, and he’s still struggling from his crushing exit on the show.

“I thought I was going to blow everyone away on The Ultimate Fighter, but that kind of put that scared kid back into me. I still have nightmares about being on that show,” said McDaniel. “Now I’m trying to bring myself back out of that still. Everything is a fight and finding a new fight.”

Aside from just inside the cage, McDaniel is also not to happy about the way he was represented outside of it on the reality show.

“It hurt my feelings real bad being on that show and feeling like everyone hates me. Even now still, from the stigma of the show, everyone hates me,” he said. “But everyone is entitled to their own opinions just like i’m entitled to mine. You have to realize sometimes that certain things just don’t matter.”

McDaniel’s concern now is to change his stigma both as a fighter and a person.

“My motivation right now is to change people’s minds. They still think I suck. I want people to say, ‘You know, he’s pretty good.’ And I’d like to stick with MMA for a long time, whether it’s coaching, refereeing, whatever. I want to be involved with MMA for the rest of my life.”

The trek for McDaniel to rectify his reputation continues tonight against Emiliano Sordi, an Argentinian fighter that McDaniel greatly respects.

“Emiliano Sordi kicks well, and he punches hard. He’s got good stand-up, and I’d say his wrestling is as good as mine, and he’s got a really good ground game too,” said McDaniel. “I can’t say I’m going to blow this guy away – this will be a fight! As long as I keep performing well, I don’t think people can take anything away from me, but this guy is going to show the world that he’s a great fighter.”

Regardless of the stylistic match-up between the two fighters, Bubba McDaniel is confident in his own work ethic as opposed to just about anyone else in the sport, and he’s hoping that aspect of his preparation results in a big victory tonight at Bellator 128.

“I give my heart and soul to MMA. Ask anyone I’ve ever trained with – there’s no one who trains as hard as me or puts more heart and love into the sport as I do. You can’t out-train me, and you can’t make me want to quit.”