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Gerald Meerschaert reacts after his submission victory over Dustin Stoltzfus in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

Gerald Meerschaert Has Finally Found His Groove

After Six Years In The UFC, Middleweight Gerald Meerschaert Finally Feels That Everything Has Fallen Into Place; And He's Ready To Put On A Show This Weekend At UFC Fight Night

Six years and 15 fights into his UFC career Gerald Meerschaert feels like everything is finally starting to come together.

The 34-year-old ended 2021 on a high note, submitting Dustin Stoltzfus to secure his third victory in a row and his third victory of 2021. For Meerschaert, the wins he earned last year were everything after dropping two straight to Ian Heinisch and Khamzat Chimaev, both in the first round.

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“For me, mentally in my career it was very important,” Meerschaert told UFC.com ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera. “I hadn’t had a three-fight win streak yet, I was coming off two really bad losses, so it was just everything coming together at the right time for me.”

The reason behind the recent success for Meerschaert was simple.

Gerald Meerschaert Locks In Late Rear Naked Choke | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus
Gerald Meerschaert Locks In Late Rear Naked Choke | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus
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“I think just taking a step back, taking a bit of a break and not thinking about anything else, but looking inward,” Meerschaert said. “What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? Don’t worry about who I’m going to fight or any kind of standings or anything else; just focus on myself and just be the best fighter I can be, and it’s worked for me really well so far.”

The Wisconsin native will step into his 49th professional fight on Saturday night. Meerschaert believes he’s now comfortable with everything that comes with being in the UFC, such as going through the events of fight week and the atmosphere.

He finally feels like this is where he is supposed to be.  

Main Event Preview | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera

“For better or worse, I think sometimes I might not think enough of myself; I’m a realist and I try to prove that I can do something,” Meerschaert said. “Now I feel like I belong, I’m comfortable and I deserve to be here.”

Training camp was business as usual for the middleweight, with a slightly new addition. He spent some time at Fusion X-Cel in Florida to switch a few things up, and train with some bigger guys. It’s something that he plans on adding to his camps in the future.

This weekend he’ll look to keep his winning streak going against Krzysztof Jotko, who is coming off a win against Misha Cirkunov last October. The matchup against Jotko is something that excites Meerschaert because of the fireworks it could produce.

“I’m excited because he’s really going to throw down with me,” Meerschaert said. “I know he particularly wants to have a stand-up battle. Even though he’s got a lot of decision wins, to his credit he still has a pretty good work rate. It’s not like he’s necessarily just playing tag; he’ll at least try throw big punches and then move around, so I think it’s going to make for a really great fight.”

Gerald Meerschaert Locks in the Guillotine | UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs Gastelum
Gerald Meerschaert Locks in the Guillotine | UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs Gastelum
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Jotko has earned 16 victories by decision and six by knockout, while Meerschaert has secured 26 victories by submission, six by knockout and only two by decision. Over the past three fights, Meerschaert believes he has been up in people’s face from the time the fight starts to the time it ends. It’s what he expects on Saturday night, although things don’t always go as planned.

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera

“I think I’m going to show a lot more of my hands and my standup, in general, in close quarters, but I always say that I want to get the knockout and then I end up choking somebody,” Meerschaert said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

“GM3” hasn’t really been one to worry about the rankings and having a number next to his name. That includes the number of fights that he’s accumulated up to this point. There’s no other way to get to that number, other than by simply competing.

Fighting constantly is what is normal for Meerschaert and that’s what he is going to keep on doing.

“I don’t really look too far ahead in the future; I want to keep the win streak going and we’ll go from there. If I stay healthy and keep making money for my family, I’m happy.”

UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera, took place on Saturday, April 30, 2022live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!