One of the unfortunate aspects of the fight game is that it’s fairly common to experience an opponent change in the lead-up to a bout. In the case of Uroš Medić, the unfortunate part wasn’t really the last-minute change from Jonny Parsons, it was that he was getting some much-needed beauty sleep when he got the news.
“I was sleeping, and when I got the call from my manager, I thought it was my alarm waking me up to go to the airport for my flight,” Medić laughed during an interview with UFC.com. “I told him I don’t care who the opponent is, just let me sleep.”
His new opponent for UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig is newcomer Myktybek Orolbai (11-1-1), a 25-year-old fighter from Kyrgyzstan on a five-fight win streak.
The truth is that Medić was fully prepared to face any name that UFC would have given him. He’s been the guy UFC has called to fill in and he’s been the guy who needed an opponent. Either way, it’s a fight and he’s here to get into one.
“I didn’t mind the change of opponent,” Medić said. “That happens in this sport. If you’re not ready for that, then you’re probably in the wrong sport. That’s just a normal thing.
“Props to him. Welcome to the UFC.”
After a 2-1 stint at lightweight, Medić decided to move up to welterweight, which is where the 30-year-old started his professional mixed martial arts career. The decision paid immediate dividends, as he defeated Matthew Semelsberger by TKO after stepping in on less than four weeks’ notice.
In their preparation for Semelsberger, they noticed that spinning attacks could be effective, and they believed it was an opportunity they could capitalize on. Sure enough, it was a third-round spinning backfist landed by Medić that would lead to his knockout win. It was spectacular and a testament to the type of fighter that Medić is.
“It was a pretty good fight. Semelsberger is a tough opponent; he’s pretty much dropped everybody that he’s fought including me. I did not see that coming,” Medić said. “But I knew he was going to be tough, and I banked on getting a finish later in the fight – that did happen. I had a good gameplan and I executed it.
“It was crazy. I got it exactly how I envisioned it.”
At 9-1, Medić has never had a fight go to a decision. He’s finished every one of his wins and was finished in his lone defeat.
“The Doctor” doesn’t feel that there’s a pressure to keep that up – he’s just trying win fights and get better along the way.
“I just think it’s the way I fight,” Medić said. “I’m not surprised that fights haven’t gone the distance, and if they do, I’m not too concerned. A fight is a fight. Sometimes you can’t control everything or finish every fight. As you progress and as you face better opponents, there may be more fights that will go the distance and to the judges’ hands. But until that happens, I’ll keep finishing fights.”
As with Semelsberger, Medić was confident that he’d identified just how he would find the finish versus Parsons, but the change of opponent to Orolbai switches things up.
But that doesn’t mean it is going to throw Medić off his game.
“It was the same thing with Parsons; I knew how I would finish him. I don’t know what happened to him. I hope he’s OK,” Medić said. “Unfortunately for the next guy he’s going to have to take the damage that Parsons was about to.”
Winning a second fight in a row at welterweight and doing it in impressive fashion would certainly go a long way in proving that Medić is ready to compete in one of the toughest divisions in the sport.
“I think this next year will be the door to the Top 15 opponents,” Medić said. “That’s the goal and the idea of everything.
“There’s a lot of fighters that I see in the Top 15 that I would pretty much massacre.”
Don't miss a moment of UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prelims start at 2pm ET/11am PT, while the main card kicks off at 5pm ET/2pm PT.