The promotion that kept Caros Fodor inactive, also prepared him for the big show.
Fodor (Twitter: @carosfodor) makes his UFC debut Saturday at UFC 157 against Sam Stout at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. “The Future” joined the UFC roster with a group of fighters absorbed from the Strikeforce closure.
Fodor, like many former Strikeforce combatants, was anxious to finally get the call over to the UFC after Zuffa purchased the San Jose-based promotion. As much as Strikeforce did for Fodor, by the time the company demised, he wasn’t exactly content with his situation.
“It was bitter sweet,” Fodor told Amy Barton and Alex Donno on Punch Drunk Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. “I had a great experience in Strikeforce. They were good to me, they took care of me. They put on a good show, I got a lot of good experience and good fights there in the beginning, but then in my third year, when they were on their way out, I didn’t get a fight for a year. That was tough. In the beginning it was great, but towards the end, when I was sitting on the sidelines, it really sucked.”
As much as Fodor wanted his situation to improve, he wasn’t entirely certain on where his future would lead.
The UFC was not forced to bring over every Strikeforce fighter under contract, therefore, only the top ranked guys in the promotion made the cut. It was apparent the champs and the heavyweights remaining in Strikeforce would be fighting in the Octagon, but Fodor wasn’t positive a lightweight like him would be desired by the UFC.
“I was really nervous,” Fodor admitted. “The fact that that UFC division is so damn stacked, I didn’t know if they were looking to bring (lightweights) over. When I finally got the call, it was the best feeling ever. My manager Matt Hume called me and I celebrated, it was almost New Year’s Eve, and then I buckled down.”
When training camp began, Fodor upped the ante and improved in an array of areas. Fodor said his discipline was at an all-time high, as he dedicated himself to a full eight-week training camp. Training with Hume, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and the rest of the AMC Pankration team, Fodor improved skills, as well as his diet and cardio.
The Washington native credits his newfound enthusiasm due to his recent employment.
“I’ve been laid off and I kind of miss that preparation,” Fodor said. “Now that I’ve got the fight in the UFC, my debut, I just have more motivation that I haven’t had in a long time. I have great training partners; it’s just been a great camp.”
Fodor meets Stout, a longtime UFC combatant, in his inaugural UFC bout. To a lot of fighters, the pressure of a UFC debut, coupled with testing your mettle against a seasoned veteran like Stout, could be disheartening.
Not for Fodor, though, as he gained previous big stage experience in Strikeforce.
“The (Strikeforce) Challenger Series did a lot for me,” Fodor said. “I got to be a main event once, so I’m kind of used to the big show. It’s all the same guys in the background running the UFC shows that were running it towards the end of the Strikeforce shows. I’ve never been in an octagon, but I’m assuming it’s pretty similar. I’m ready for the big show.”