Wiuff's 23-bout win streak on the line
Rochester man has $10,000 payday Saturday in Las Vegas
By Guy N. Limbeck
Travis Wiuff is closing in on the big time in ultimate fighting and he wants to make the most of his opportunity.
The 27-year-old from Rochester will be putting his 23-bout win streak on the line on Saturday night when he faces Renata Sobral from Brazil. It will be the fourth Brazilian fighter Wiuff has faced and the third in his last four bouts.
"I'm going to be the Brazilian Killer, if I win," Wiuff joked.
Wiuff's fight, a three-round affair at five minutes per round, will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and is live on pay-per-view. Wiuff will be paid more than $10,000 for the fight.
"If I win this fight I'll feel I be able to do this full-time," said Wiuff, who also works some part-time to help pay expenses.
For this fight he has been training in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City for four weeks. He went to Salt Lake City to train with Jeremy Horn, an experienced ultimate fighter and former champion in the sport.
"I've probably got the best trainer helping me for this fight," Wiuff said. "It's paid huge benefits.
"I decided I had to pick up my training to win this fight," he added. "It was definitely a tough decision leaving home and leaving everything I'm comfortable with."
Wiuff has also dropped down to the light heavyweight division for this fight. He was in the heavyweight division and weighed 225 pounds for his last fight in February. He weighed about 240 a year ago and will be at 205 pounds for Saturday's bout.
"Obviously I'm going to be a big light heavyweight," Wiuff said. "So that's a big advantage."
Wiuff has dropped weight by doing a lot of running and watching his diet. He doesn't lift weights as much anymore but has done a lot of wrestling, boxing, sparring and working on submission moves. Ultimate fighting combines all of those aspects in the ring.
"I feel quick, but I still feel as strong as I was at 240," Wiuff said.
Wiuff has an overall professional record of 35-4. He had been climbing the rankings as a heavyweight, having move to No. 8 in the world. He figures he might have a better shot at a title as a light heavyweight, however. He is currently ranked seventh in the world at that division.
"A win could put me in the top two or three (contenders)," Wiuff said.
"They're looking for new blood," he added of the light heavyweight division. "A lot depends on this fight. If I win, obviously a lot of doors open up for me."
Wiuff likes his chances against Sobral.
"I think my biggest advantage is I'm a better wrestler," Wiuff said. "And I'm going to be stronger."