“I’m going to come out vicious.”
After nearly a year away from the Octagon, that’s how light heavyweight Alonzo Menifield plans to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 250.
The undefeated prospect has been nothing but vicious in his nine professional bouts thus far, finishing all of his opponents before hitting the one-minute mark of the second round.
Standing across from him on Saturday will be UFC veteran Devin Clark, who is 3-3 in his last six bouts, including a 2019 loss to Menifield’s Fortis MMA teammate Ryan Spann. If there is one thing that Menifield has seen from Clark, it’s his desire to do whatever is necessary to grind out a win.
Menifield wants none of that.
“I’ve watched him and broke him down on film and he is never comfortable striking. He is a wrestler and I’ve got to prevent him from grabbing me and making the fight boring,” the 32-year-old Menifield said. “I’m not going to let his style prevent me being me.”
When asked what he means by ‘me being me’ Menifield didn’t even need to take a beat to answer.
“I’m going to be destructive. I have to be exciting,” said Menifield. “I’ve been thinking about that for weeks and months and that’s why I’ve been getting into the best shape of my life. I’m going to destroy him and that’s what is going to push me into the limelight.”
Despite the fact that Menifield is set to compete on Saturday, he is still carefully paying attention to the unfolding situations surrounding COVID-19 and the protests taking place across the nation. Growing up in the foster care system in California adds perspective for Menifield, who wants to set an example of perseverance that transcends his performances in the Octagon.
Menifield hopes that everyone who watches him recognizes that they have what it takes to fight whatever they are facing.
“I think fighting speaks in all languages,” Menifield said. “I think people can relate to what we are doing in the Octagon because, like everyone else, I’m struggling and dealing with misfortune in my life, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up fighting. I will not be denied, and people have to have that attitude and keep going, no matter what.”
What’s directly in front of Menifield is a chance to break into the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings. Menifield believes that UFC 250 is the perfect opportunity to make a statement and earn the respect he deserves.
“Given the COVID situation, I think there will be more eyes on UFC 250. This is my shot to display just how hungry I am, the talent I possess and why I’m going to take the division by storm,” Menifield said. “I want to be known as a top 205er and I think that this fight with Devin Clark is going to be an eye opener for everyone.”
“Whoever doubts me will see what I’m made of.”
You’re not going to want to miss Menifield battle Clark on the UFC 250 Early Prelims, which start at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT on ESPN, ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.