At UFC on Versus 4 this weekend in Pittsburgh, Grice will return to the sport’s biggest stage after compiling a four fight win streak on the regional circuit. .
“It feels incredible to be back in the UFC. I’m excited and I feel fortunate to be getting a second chance. I’m ready to make the most of it. I don’t think I’ve ever been this ready for a fight in my life and I’m just ready to get out there and get going.”
Grice plans on making a stamp on the featherweight division after a lengthy run at lightweight.
“The featherweight and bantamweight divisions are great because they add depth to the UFC roster. There are some exciting fighters at 145, and adding the lighter weight classes provides more opportunities for guys to move up and down. I’m definitely excited to be a part of it.”
Grice’s first run in the UFC came at 155 and saw the Oklahoma native go 1-3. Recharged and refocused, he feels confident he has found where he belongs.
“I’m at the right weight class now and I’m back. I’m ready to show everybody what the real Matt Grice can do. My last time in the UFC I didn’t perform the way I know I can and this time I want people to see that I’m ready.”
In addition to the change of weight class Grice also feels the overall development of his game will show in Pittsburgh.
“I think I’m a completely different fighter. My skill set is a lot better and I’m more mature. I still have the same aggressiveness but it’s more controlled now and I feel that the changes have made me a more complete and better fighter.”
He also elaborated on the process of his journey to featherweight.
“It’s really been my diet and workouts. As far as my diet goes that was always one of things I never had to keep too strict. I just trained and pretty much ate whenever I wanted until I got up to a week or two before the fight. I had to make weight but now the entire process has shifted. I’ve changed my lifestyle, the way I eat, the way I do things and I feel it’s made a tremendous difference. I feel better than ever.”
Grice will face Ricardo Lamas on Sunday. Lamas went 4-1 under the WEC banner, but this fight will mark his UFC debut. Grice will look to spoil the party, but he believes that he and Lamas bring many of the same tools into the cage.
“I think Ricardo and I are a lot alike. If you watch some of our fights there are a lot of similarities. We both come from strong wrestling backgrounds. We both wrestled in college. Both of us like to stand and strike and I think stylistically we are a lot alike. It should make for an interesting fight. I think this fight is going to go everywhere and I believe it will come down to who is in better shape and who can impose their will.”
Nine of Grice’s thirteen career wins have come via knockout or submission, and he hopes to add to the buzz of a division known for exciting fights and often-thrilling finishes.
“I love finishing fights and I’m always looking to do it. Decision wins are good but you always want to go out there and finish a fight. You want to put on a good show for the fans and finishing is always the goal. I’m prepared for anything that happens whether it’s a 15 minute war or a short knockout or submission. I’m ready to get out there and get after it.”